Volunteering Matters

The Women Against Sexual exploitation and violence Speak UP programme (WASSUP) was set up with support from Volunteering Matters by four young women in Ipswich. Originally based on the member’s personal experiences of child sexual exploitation or abuse, WASSUP has grown into a youth social action programme, attracting 33 young women who as a team volunteer a total of 170 hours each month to raise awareness of domestic abuse, trafficking and sexual violence, helping to create safer pathways for reporting these crimes.

Within a team of 33, a core group of 14 young women meet on a weekly basis to plan events, campaigns, and support the development of an interactive toolkit to facilitate discussions in schools and signpost young people to safety. This ground-breaking work positively engaged with over 500 young people within educational settings and over 60 professionals in 2017, with the team delivering over 40 workshops in various schools.

We feel the WASSUP team deserve to win this award as the young people have been brave enough to share their experiences not only to raise awareness of issues that society might shy away from, but to show gaps in provision, ensuring others don’t have to repeat their experiences.

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