‘Just make a difference...’

Lauren Dine

Lauren Dine

Portsmouth City Council leader Cllr Donna Jones

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A woman who works for a charity organisation is working hard to make a difference.

Lauren Dine, 24, works at Chaos in Havant, a day centre that helps young adults aged between 13 and 40 with learning disabilities to realise their full potential.

Her inspiration for her work comes from a trip to Cambodia in 2014 during which she came across an orphanage called CPOC (Caring for Poor and Orphaned Children).

After spending a month there, she helped to set up a connection between them and Chaos.

Now, Lauren has helped create an initiative called ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ that allows her and the rest of the charity to channel their energy and direct the young people they look after into giving back to the community.

Lauren said: ‘We started small, just simply wishing someone a good day or paying somebody a compliment.’

‘Our young people do all kinds of wonderful things, for no other payment than knowing that they’ve made a difference.

‘We have made donations for the homeless, including food, warm clothes for the winter and dog food. Our young people went down to the centre of Portsmouth and gave these out and touched a lot of people’s hearts.’

Lauren added: ‘We then came across something called “post pals”, where you become pen pals with children who aren’t very well and are going through a tough time with their illness.

‘We found a very inspirational story from a young girl who has a whole long list of problems and our guys sent over photos and a lovely letter from each of them to brighten up her day.’

The scheme then led to sending a collection of supplies back to the Cambodian orphanage.

Lauren said: ‘The bag was very heavy, full of everyone’s kind donations, and put such a smile on the children at CPOC’s face. It was truly beautiful.’

Earlier this month, Lauren and the Chaos team attended the Race For Life, handing out medals and goodie bags for everyone who completed the event.

She added: ‘We’re also hoping to start up a meals-on-wheels service in the near future, and maybe to do work for other charities.’

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