Who Asks Us?

'Who Asks Us?' is a series of ongoing projects run across Suffolk, focusing on giving young people a voice and an inside look at further education and career paths.

Since 2012, the project has been run in various schools, academies, colleges and pupil referral units, giving hundreds of students a voice and a greater understanding of their futures.  Through visits to countless local businesses, colleges and more, young people have been able to engage directly with those involved in a range of different career paths, learn from their experiences, and ask the question 'Who Asks Us?'

You can find out more on the project from its website whoasksus.org.


Films

A big part of the project is giving the young people something tangible to take away with them once a project is concluded - a series of films made throughout the project to refer back to.  Above are some examples made on different projects, all made possible by our young people and their enthusiasm.

For more, be sure to check out our films page or whoasksus.org.


Outcomes

The Offshoot Foundation has a proven track record of successfully working with Schools, businesses, young people and adults over a 3 year period on its 'Who Asks Us?' project - gaining a Suffolk County Council Raising the Bar Award for Innovation in Education and Skills in the process.

Paul and Jill celebrating the project's Raising the Bar Award win.

I found this project really interesting and it has opened my mind to believe you can achieve.
— Ormiston Stoke Academy Student
This project has given me a sense of achievement - I finally feel I am being listened to.
— Holbrook Academy Student
This project helped me see that there are good opportunities to go into the workplace and it has relieved me of the stress of the rumoured scary job and scary interview.
— Thurston Community College Student
Our students were extremely fortunate to work with Paul Press on the award-winning Who Asks Us project. He believes very strongly in giving young people opportunities to learn new skills, challenge themselves and raise their aspirations. He showed total commitment to supporting and encouraging our students and empowering them to have the self-belief to produce a documentary film they are immensely proud of.

The knowledge, skills and confidence they acquired as a result of working with Paul on the project have ensured that these students are more focused and more proactive about their futures and has given them a huge advantage over their peers.
— Wendy Toogood, Careers Officer, Stoke High School, Ormiston Academy
The WhoAsksUs Project was a fantastic experience for our pupils. It enthused and motivated them and made them actively think about where their learning in school might eventually lead them.
— Gorseland Primary School Teacher
Who Ask Us assisted young participants to think, reflect and take stock of their direction as well as provide an opportunity to enquire and explore the working world around them, revealing other life options and choices within their community.

I felt that it was the abstract approach [researchers] that enable participants to self-evaluate through interviewing employers that provoked thought, without being personally judged or lectured. The impact upon participants listening to the reality of prison life, and to hear what employers seek from a young employee caused a distinctive response in all but a few participants. It was interesting to have an audience of students and staff, equally absorbed in the topic of prison life and I am sure a subject that provoked further classroom and break time debate.  

I was impressed by both Jill and Paul as they clearly showed temperance, patience and resilience in engaging with a challenging target audience, they were clearly passionate about influencing positively young people who may otherwise embark on a pathway that may leading to prison.

Having worked in prisons for 27 years and having seen first-hand the sufferance and pain that imprisonment brings to individuals and families, the thought of positively influencing a young mind to rescue their own situation and find the motivation to make positive changes, or even sow the seeds to enable future changes is reward in itself.

The real stars were the participants and I wish them all good luck as they step out as young adults, WAU and PRU staff are good examples of ‘enabling’ self-reflection.

I feel privileged to have been able to assist. 
— Jeff Orr, Deputy Governor HMP and YOI Hollesley Bay