Volunteering Matters team collecting award

We are delighted to announce that the Volunteering Matters’ WASSUP volunteer team won the award for Volunteer Team of the Year in the 2018 Third Sector Awards!

Our amazing Women Against Sexual exploitation and violence Speak UP (WASSUP) volunteer team impressed the judges with their bravery, sharing their experiences not only to raise awareness of issues that society might shy away from, but to highlight gaps in provision, ensuring others don’t have to repeat their experiences.

WASSUP was set up, with support from Volunteering Matters, by four young women in Ipswich. Originally based on the members’ 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 the 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.

Stephen Skeet, Head of the East of England at Volunteering Matters, said: “We are proud beyond belief of what every member of WASSUP has achieved. There were some fantastic projects highlighted at the Third Sector Awards and we are delighted to see WASSUP recognised in this way.”

Find out more about WASSUP