Wolverhampton's popular Yo! Wolves platform is set to be expanded so that it can capture a wider range of opportunities which will help children, young people and their families build aspiration and resilience.

Yo! Wolves is currently used to promote the hundreds of activities which are available for children and young people during the school holidays.

However, a report which will go before members of the council's Cabinet tomorrow (Wednesday 22 March, 2023) proposes the launch of five new strands – Yo! Health, Yo! Voice, Yo! Learn, Yo! Plus and Yo! Connect. These will support the council's vision for 'children, young people and their families to have access to a range of opportunities that build aspiration and resilience'.

Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: "Our ambition is that we have strong families in our city, where children grow up well and achieve their potential, and we have a number of programmes and initiatives running to make this happen.

"The launch of our Yo! Wolves website was the first phase of our work to improve access to support, events and opportunities to children, young people and their families. 

"It has become a key feature of how families in Wolverhampton can access activities and free food during the school holidays.

"We now want to build on this brand with five new pillars which will form the foundation of everything we do to support our children, young people and families and provide a clear focus on what the city is doing to help them across the city."

Yo! Health will promote physical and mental wellbeing, including ensuring that children continue to have the opportunity to access activities with a healthy meal in every school holiday in 2023 to 2024 and the launch of a new £2 million offer giving children and young people free access to the council's WV Active leisure centres. The council will continue to invest in emotional wellbeing services for children and young people, and ensure that its financial wellbeing strategy continues to support families who are struggling to minimise the impact of poverty on young people.

Yo! Voice will support children and young people to have a voice. The council will continue to develop the city's Youth Voice forums with an ongoing investment of £380,000 in participation and engagement for young people, roll out 'co-production' training across the city to enable more children and young people to help shape their services, and increase the involvement of families by investing £83,000 to employ adults participation officers.

Yo! Learn will ensure a focus on the child’s first 1,001 days through the new Family Hubs network which is currently under development, and that children and young people continue to receive the best possible education in the city's schools. Services for the city’s 11,500 children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) will be further improved, backed by £640,000 council investment.

Yo! Plus will encourage life skills. The council will invest £80,000 in a one-year enrichment pilot programme to offer exciting opportunities to some of the city's most disadvantaged young people, and continue to grow relationships with the city's uniformed organisations to develop a broad offer of life skills for children and young people.

The final strand, Yo! Connect, will provide access to information for families that is easy to find and easily accessible, and ensure services are joined up through the development of a 'families front door’. The council will also continue to work with voluntary and third sector organisations to ensure families are connected to their local community.

Councillors are recommended to approve the development of the Yo! brand when they meet tomorrow evening.