Wolverhampton's new Youth Zone, The Way, has signed up its first Youth Zone volunteer.

Type=image;ImageID=7824;ImageClass=left;ImageTitle=Councillor Gibson, Emma Shippy and Andrew Walker;TitleClass=strong;

Emma Shippy, 23, is the first of around 100 volunteers to be recruited prior to the Youth Zone opening in January 2016 and she was formally welcomed by Councillor Val Gibson, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Families at the site of the new development earlier today.

Emma, from Bilston, and has a degree in Psychology after graduating from the University of Wolverhampton, which is one of the Youth Zone's Founder Patrons.

Emma said: "I've always had a passion for helping people. At school I was a peer mentor and I have done voluntary work before at community organisation, Base 25.

"I remember being younger myself and knowing how much I would have benefited from having someone to talk to and having somewhere to go and something to do. The Way seemed like a fantastic opportunity for me to progress my career and finally give something back to Wolverhampton.

"I now want to show young people that it doesn't matter about your background, your ethnicity or your gender as we are all equal. I want to show young people that no matter what hardships they may face, they can come out of it the other side and be happy and successful."

Councillor Gibson added: "The Way Youth Zone promises to be a fantastic facility for our city's young people.

"Volunteers will be the lifeblood of the new centre and I'm delighted that Emma has shown her support by becoming the first volunteer to sign up. I'd encourage anyone else who is interested in supporting The Way to find out more about the opportunities on offer."

Andrew Walker, Volunteer Manager at The Way said: "I am delighted Emma has joined us as our first of many volunteers. Volunteering is a brilliant way to meet new people, develop new skills and give something back to your local community. At The Way we value the fantastic work our volunteers undertake for us - we couldn't do it without them!"

Volunteer roles from youth workers and gym instructors to inclusion workers and catering assistants are all available to apply for on the Youth Zone's website. For more details, please visit Type=links;Linkid=4743;Title=The Way;Target=_blank; or email andrew.walker@thewayyouthzone.org.

The £5.5 million Youth Zone, part funded by the City of Wolverhampton Council, will be located on School Street and will offer a multitude of activities for young people to take part in, from sport, fitness, dance, arts, music and media to enterprise and wellbeing and self improvement. The state of the art facility will boast a high spec music room, a 3G pitch, enterprise media suite, climbing wall, multi use 4 court sports hall, cafe, dance studio, gym, cooking area, general recreation area and more.

  • released: Thursday 24 September, 2015