In just six weeks The Way Youth Zone has smashed its yearly membership target, as 3,000 young people from across Wolverhampton are now using the city’s new state-of-the-art facility. Young people are travelling far and wide from across the whole of Wolverhampton, with some members even coming from areas like Walsall and Staffordshire to access the state-of-the-art facility on School Street. By taking part in a multitude of activities like rock climbing, art, football, basketball, boxing, dance, music and employability, the Youth Zone is helping raise the aspirations, enhance prospects and improve health and wellbeing of the city’s young people.
Since The Way officially opened its doors on Saturday 16th January 2016, it has seen an average of 200 young people visiting each session. So far The Way Youth Zone has delivered over 600 activities for young people of all abilities.
Kerryann Michaels’s daughter has been using The Way for the past few weeks and she said: “It has been amazing to see my daughter outgrow her fears and get involved more with other children of all ages and disabilities. I am, as she is, so pleased that Wolverhampton has a place where all children can be themselves and do activities that they enjoy.”
The Way is a 7 days a week offer for young people aged 8-19 years old, up to 25 for those with a disability, which is supported by an army of volunteers from the local community. In the past six weeks, The Way has seen volunteers donate over 2,462 hours of their time to the Youth Zone, which equates to a value of over £19,000.
Andrew Walker, Volunteer Manager at The Way, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the levels of support our volunteers have given us – they’ve collectively donated over 2,462 hours of their time which, if you add it all up, is enough time to watch 1,641 football matches back to back. It’s incredibly heart-warming to see the local community in Wolverhampton come together to support their young people, we literally wouldn’t be able to do this without them and I really can’t thank them enough.”
Youth Zone in numbers:- Young people have visited The Way Youth Zone 10,500 times.
- 100 volunteers giving 2,462 hours of their time
- 600 activities delivered
- 1,035 likes on Facebook
- 74,000 website visits
- £9million raised for the benefit of Wolverhampton’s young people so far
- 60 jobs created
Spearheaded by entrepreneur Steve Morgan OBE, The Way has received significant backing from the local community with 24 Black Country businesses stepping forward to support the facility’s ongoing running costs. In recent months the Youth Zone has also attracted the attention of high profile celebrities including, world-renowned rock star Robert Plant, football legend Steve Ball MBE and global superstar Liam Payne.
As a strategic partner, Wolverhampton City Council has also championed the project from the beginning providing vital investment towards both the construction and running costs, to help make the Youth Zone a reality for all its young people.
Philippa Gregory, Development Manager at The Way Youth Zone, said: “The Way has received such incredible support from right across the city of Wolverhampton, bringing together the private sector, public sector and local community on a scale that hasn’t been done before. There is such pride in the city from all communities and I truly believe that the Youth Zone has reignited a passion from within Wolverhampton, which will ensure The Way goes on to deliver to for the young people of the city now and for years to come.”