The Big Lottery’s Fund’s ‘Awards For All’ grant of £10,000 has been awarded to fund the purchase and installation of sensory equipment at Wolverhampton’s new Youth Zone. The inclusion room, fitted with sensory equipment is vital for the inclusion of all young people with an additional need or disability. This room formed part of the original plans and designs for the Youth Zone based on the learning from the OnSide Youth Zone network of existing Youth Zones.

The room can be used for a number of purposes and is a safe space where young people can express themselves, get their sensory needs met or de-escalate from any anxiety or stress that could be a factor in the inclusion of young people.

The Way Youth Zone is the first centre, in OnSide Youth Zone’s network of 21st century facilities, that features an inclusion room with sensory equipment and a fully functioning hygiene suite with hoisting facilities installed from opening as per the learning from creating ‘A Level Playing Field’s’ in existing Youth Zone’s.

The room will be fitted with an outstanding set of equipment including a magic carpet and a range of sensory equipment.

Stephen Pearson, A Level Playing Field Project Co-ordinator said: Multi-Sensory play is an important element for working with children and young people with an additional need or disability. It helps aid communication and at times can be a key therapeutic intervention in the inclusion of young people. We accept difference in a positive way and reduce any barrier to anybody taking part in the full offer in a Youth Zone so are really delighted to receive news of this funding. It will be a huge delight to see many children and young people benefit from such an aspirational facility that provides something to do, somewhere to go and someone to talk to on a level playing field. Good inclusive and non-discriminatory practice benefits everyone.”

The Way is set to open in January 2016 and the Youth Zone will be recruiting a number of new staff roles, including an Inclusion Worker. For more details on all the current and upcoming Youth Zone vacancies, visit