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The Mayor's charities

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It is traditional for the Mayor to support chosen charities during their term of office. The Mayor of Ipswich, Councillor Jan Parry, is keen to support our young people, and has chosen two local projects supported by the charity Volunteering Matters, which help to do this.

WASSUP (Women Against Sexual Exploitation and Violence Speak Up)

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

The group has collectively built a toolkit which it delivers in schools across Suffolk. The sessions are based on a fictional character called Astra and use film, spoken verse, imagery and flashcards the group has created to journey young people though various decision-making scenarios based on Astra’s life.

Astra is real; she is made up of composite parts of the group’s life. The Astra toolkit informs young people of the risks and impact of their decisions and addresses difficult issues with authenticity of young people’s insights and knowledge. The group delivers the toolkit to year 5/6 and 9/10 young people themselves across Ipswich.

We Are Patrick

Patrick is Astra’s brother. The We Are Patrick project uses the WASSUP methodology of engagement and governance structure to allow boys across Ipswich to build Patrick’s toolkit addressing the issues that Patrick faces as a 12 year-old boy living in the same home. The group has created an interactive toolkit using film, media and spoken verse that covers issues of exploitation, gang grooming and serious violence through their eyes and experiences. The group will then deliver the toolkit to approximately 800 young men across Ipswich.

To do this, We Are Patrick has a core youth social action group engaging 30 young men on a regular basis, driving the activities and outputs of the project. Through this structure, the We Are Patrick programme delivers the following:

  • Creation and delivery of the toolkit
  • Provide peer support for boys/young men affected by these issues via our workshops
  • Lead on community awareness raising campaigns
  • Lead on our lobbying policy and decision makers on service and practice in relation to these issues.

As young males, the volunteers will share similar experiences and social norms and are therefore, best placed to provide relevant, meaningful, explicit and honest information to their peers. This will create a space for their peers to have honest and meaningful conversations about their lives.

Volunteering Matters is a registered charity (No: 291222)
Contact: Tonia Wilson or Darren Oxbrow
Telephone: 01473 418035
Email: information@volunteeringmatters.org.uk

Make a donation

You can donate to the Mayor’s Charity Fund here.

Contact Details

Civic Secretary,
Ipswich Borough Council,
2W Grafton House,
15-17 Russell Road,
Ipswich,
IP1 2DE

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01473 432641