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The Way Youth Zone officially opened its doors on Saturday as music, dancing and a celebrity appearance from The Voice’s Sasha Simone welcomed Wolverhampton’s brand new facility to the city.

See all the pictures from the grand opening ceremony here. The £6m youth centre is based on Worcester Street, in the centre of the city, and aims to give young people ‘somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to’.

The Way caters for young people aged 8-19 (or up to the age of 25 for those with disabilities) and we’ve estimated that around 1,000 Bromford customers could be eligible to sign-on as members. But is it worth it? What are the benefits? And what is the cost? As founder patrons of The Way, we’ve put together our top 5 reasons for getting involved.

Take a look:

1. Make new friends and keep fighting fit

Do you enjoy sports such as football, netball, badminton or basketball? Or have you always wanted to improve your fitness through boxing and martial arts? Maybe you prefer an adrenaline rush and indoor rock climbing is more your thing? These are just a small selection of the dozens of activities you can get involved with and because sessions are held for both juniors and seniors, you will always be around people of a similar age making friends! There are also family and disability sessions which are held every Sunday from 10am to 1pm with specialist staff.

2. Learn a fun, new skill

The Way is about far more than just physical activity and so you’ll also have opportunity to write and record your own music, experience a radio studio and edit film, unlock your creative side by creating art murals or learning new techniques in the onsite restaurant and kitchen. It could be a skill or passion you never even knew you had!

3. It’s cheap as chips!

Becoming a member of The Way costs £5 annually and then an extra 50p for every session you attend thereafter. For example, if you signed up and went on average once a week for the whole year, the overall cost would work out at 56p per visit. The cost to users is deliberately kept low because much of the day-to-day running costs come from grants and the public and private sector.

4. Wider benefit to families

A survey carried out at similar youth zones in Manchester, Oldham and Wigan showed that there are many other social benefits of signing up. The relationship with their family had improved for 76% of young people whilst 51% said they were less likely to miss school or college after attending. A further 89% reported feeling more confident as a result of being a member.

5. Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity!

You can get involved in The Way as little or as much as you want. Whether it’s taking part in consultation events, getting involved in the Youth Board who meet regularly or becoming a member of the Young People’s Development Group who have had their say in all aspects of the concept so far (name, building design and recruitment etc.); there’s always a way to boost your future career prospects by volunteering and taking on extra responsibility.

Interested? Sign up today and pay your membership fee on your first visit!

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