Wolverhampton's popular Youth Zone, The Way, hopes to reopen its doors to the city’s children and young people 7 days a week from September.

The centre has worked with over a thousand youngsters throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and is currently offering a range of activities on weekday evenings, from climbing, football and multi sports to music, arts, and wellbeing sessions.

Staff are now planning a Summer Holiday Club for 8 to 12 year olds, part of the Yo! Summer Festival, and are working to extend opening hours further as lockdown measures ease in the coming weeks.

Councillor Beverley Momenabadi, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, visited the School Street centre last month and said: "The team at The Way have done a brilliant job throughout the pandemic, firstly through remote sessions for children and young people and then reintroducing face to face activities once it was safe enough to do so.

"I was delighted to be invited down to have a look around The Way myself and was very impressed, not only by the facility itself but also by the great range of activities on offer.

"It is a very important asset for children and young people from all over our city and I am looking forward to it being able to welcome even more children and young people, 7 days a week – hopefully in the not too distant future."

Carla Priddon, CEO of The Way, said: “It has been wonderful to see young people feeling confident to return to The Way and taking part in a range of activities with our talented team. 

“On some sessions, we have 75% of the attendees we did before the pandemic which is great. We are excited to return to a fuller programme as soon as it is safe and advisable to do so. We are always open to new members so come and check us out and don’t forget to keep an eye out for our Summer Holiday Club and a relaunch party in the Autumn!”

The Way, based on School Street, opened its doors in 2016, and provides activities for children and young people aged between 8 and 19, or 25 for those with disabilities. Before the pandemic, it received over 5,000 visits from local children and young people every month. 

It is currently holding face to face sessions for junior members, aged 8 to 12, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5.30 to 8.30pm, and sessions for seniors aged 13 to 18 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 6pm to 9pm. Over 18s have a weekly session on Fridays between 6.15pm and 8.45pm.

It also offers a one to one support service for young people from 4pm to 5pm each weekday and hopes to return to a 7 day operation by September, including sessions for families every Saturday and activities for children and young people with a disability on Sundays. 

The Summer Holiday Club will run every weekday from 2 to 27 August, offering 8 to 12 year olds the chance to take part in a range of sports, arts and health and wellbeing activities. It costs £5 per day per child and breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided.

For more information, please visit The Way or head to @thewayyouthzone on social media.

Councillor Momenabadi added: "As a council, we have committed another £200,000 towards The Way’s running costs this financial year, bringing our total investment in the centre to over £4 million.

“This demonstrates our continuing support for The Way along with our wider commitment to, and funding for, our city’s children and young people, including through our Youth Engagement Strategy, #YES, and the upcoming Yo! Summer Festival.”