A CHARITY helping young people boost their confidence has been saved from closure – after eleventh-hour funding from Comic Relief.
Gosport and Fareham-based Loud and Proud, which finds volunteer and fundraising placements for 16-25 year olds, has received £5,300 from the organisation’s local communities programme.
The charity – which aims to change the perception of young people in the area – had been told by monitoring group Gosport Voluntary Action that it might have to close.
Nicola Ure, co-ordinator of the group, said: ‘We were told in June if we didn’t get any funding we’d be closed by the end of September.
‘I was in a meeting when I had to check my emails and got one from the treasurer telling me.
‘I can’t thank them enough. I can’t explain what that means to me and the group.
‘It shows we’re doing something right.’
The charity had been fundraising in order to keep going – including launching a page on the website Local Giving, which enables online donations.
The group also put on a charity gig in an effort to keep the charity running.
The group wants to keep membership free and had been able to do so, after previously winning funding in December 2011.
‘We do need the money to keep going,’ added Mrs Ure.
‘We don’t charge for events and EMA (education maintenance allowance) has stopped so they don’t have that any more. The first time we had nothing and worked from my home.
‘We just used what we had but when we got the cash it really kick-started it.
‘It’s the age group that people think are lazy but they’re not.’
The cash from the national body will keep the group going for six months while members look for more funding.
This will keep them active in the area, allowing them to continue to do litter picks and help with sheltered housing.
Stuart Lovibond, 18, a member of Loud and Proud, said: ‘It’s good we’ve got the funding. We would have had to close and young people wouldn’t have an opportunity to get skills.
‘I don’t know what I’d do; I’d be sitting at home doing nothing.’