Originally appeared in This is Kidderminster (UK)
IF you see a music megastar at the controls of a mechanical digger in Wyre Forest next month, you don’t need to book an appointment with your optician.
A start is being made on building the new Rhydd Covert activity centre between Kidderminster and Bewdley in the first week of November, and rock legend Robert Plant will take centre stage to cut the first trench at the site.
The former Led Zeppelin frontman, whose home is at Shatterford, will break off from his hectic globe-trotting tour promoting his latest acclaimed album, Mighty Rearranger, to launch the next phase of Operation Covert.
The rock star, who was catapulted into music folklore in the late 1960s with the legendary band Led Zeppelin, is keen to support the Wyre Forest community whenever he can.
He is patron of Kidderminster College’s MAS Records and likes to take time out in the district when his busy schedule allows.
In recent months he has also given his time to global causes.
Earlier this month he shared a stage with Pearl Jam at a special $1,000-ticket event to raise money for victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, America.
In August he donated all proceeds from a four-song CD to an American charity that helps the poor in Africa.
But he still finds time for supporting causes nearer to home and jumped at the chance to get involved with Operation Covert which was launched by the Shuttle/Times & News to rebuild the Rhydd Covert activity centre burned down by vandals a year ago.
The new facility has been designed by Bewdley-based architectural designer Grace Plant - no relation but a friend of the superstar for many years.
She said: “I have known Robert for a long time through my building work, and he has always taken a keen interest in young people and supporting initiatives in Wyre Forest.
“As Operation Covert is such an important facility for young people, I thought I would ask him if he would come along and give the project a boost for our next big phase, and he said `yes’ straightaway.”
She added: “He is very busy at the moment and is spending a lot of time out of the country, so we are really grateful that he has agreed to come along and help us.”
Rhydd Covert site warden, Mark Woodward, said: “It’s brilliant news to have Robert Plant on board. To have such a big name giving up his valuable time for us gives everyone a huge lift.
“He is someone who believes in young people and a lot of the youngsters who come to Rhydd Covert will be wide-eyed at the thought of such a superstar getting involved.”
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