Express & Star

Youth centre donation is music to the ears of Wolverhampton youngsters

Budding musicians in Wolverhampton will hit the right note after a city centre youth facility received a bumper donation of instruments and equipment.

Maped Helix has handed over £5,000 worth of music equipment to The Way Youth Zone. Pictured: Kay Aldridge of The Way and Rebecca Ostrowski of Maped Helix.

Stationery giant Maped Helix has handed over £5,000 worth of music equipment to The Way Youth Zone, including four electric guitars, four acoustic guitars, a drum kit and two top-of-the-range amps.

The donation comes through Maped Helix’s 1% for Education Fund. Under the initiative, one per cent of sales from some of the brand’s most popular products is donated to educational projects.

Maped Helix chose to support The Way as it is close to its UK headquarters in Kingswinford.

Kay Aldridge, arts co-ordinator at The Way, said: "We are absolutely thrilled to receive this extraordinary donation from Maped Helix. Our young people are over the moon to have the chance to learn to play these incredible new instruments.

"Our Youth Zone welcomes over a thousand young people - six days a week - giving them somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to in a safe environment.

"We run up to 20 different activities each night, such as team sports, climbing, creative arts and music – all for just £5 annual membership and 50p per visit.

"One of our most popular spaces is the music room, where young people can get creative and learn new skills with guidance from our leaders and volunteers.

"Some of our equipment was getting old and tired, so these new instruments have come at just the right time."

Rebecca Ostrowski, marketing executive at Maped Helix, said the company was delighted to support The Way.

She said: "Maped Helix’s mission is to empower every child to change the world with their own hands and to make access to education easier to develop every child’s potential.

"This is why the 1% for Education initiative was launched, to allow us to give something back to our local community by supporting charities and not-for-profit organisations with a clear focus on education.

"The Way is an amazing facility that does really valuable work with Wolverhampton’s young people and we are delighted to be able to help with this donation of music equipment. It was a real privilege to see the joy on the faces of some of the young people as they unboxed the new instruments.

"Music is a great way to inspire creativity and relieve stress. We hope this equipment brings many years of joy."

Product sales included in the 1% for Education Fund include the Helix Oxford Maths Set, Maped Color'Peps Jungle Colouring Felt Tip Pens and Maped Kid'Z Compass. For more information, visit