WASSUP is an award-winning youth social action project delivered by 30 young women in Ipswich with three principle aims:
- Educate peers on the issues of sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, honour based violence and gang grooming
- Lobby for changes to social policy and practice on these issues promoting young people’s voice
- Raise awareness in the wider community on these issues
‘We Are ASTRA’
To do this, the group have collectively built a toolkit which they deliver in 90 minute sessions in schools across Suffolk. They base the sessions on the life of a fictional character called Astra, and use film, spoken verse, imagery and flashcards they have created to journey young people though various decision-making scenarios based on Astra’s life. The toolkit then informs young people of the risks and impact of their decisions. The toolkit addresses difficult issues with authenticity of young people’s insights and knowledge.
- Delivery of 200 volunteer hours a month
- In 2017, the group delivered the toolkit to 600 schoolchildren across Suffolk
- Delivered 8 community based events including flash mobs and created 2 films
- Toolkit endorsed by Suffolk Safeguarding Board and forms part of Suffolk Child Sexual Exploitation Plan
- Submitted evidence to various Government departments, interviewed MP for the BBC and have won a number of awards
In 2018, WASSUP were asked to develop two new concepts using their social action model in addition to their core toolkit activities:
- Engage boys in Ipswich to create their own toolkit on similar issues based on Astra’s brother for future delivery in schools. This now is a project itself, called ‘We Are Patrick’.
- Trial a safe pathway for young women in Ipswich supported by volunteer mentors working in partnership with Suffolk County Council.