Loud and Proud is a Gosport volunteering group for people aged 16 to 25 looking to give a good impression of their age group by helping people through volunteering.
Sarah Chau from Gosport was 23 when she got involved with the group after finding out about it in the Discovery Centre.
‘I got involved because I went to university and got a masters, then went travelling but came back and was lost. I didn’t really have any friends here or know anyone my age,’ said Sarah.
‘I thought it was a really good opportunity to meet people my age and I really liked what they were doing and their message. On my first meeting I walked in and was so overwhelmed.’
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Sarah wasn’t sure if it was for her, but another member reassured her and encouraged her to return.
The 26-year-old said: ‘I decided to come back to the next meeting and I’m really glad I did because I have learned a lot. It’s definitely helped being in a supportive and welcoming group.’
Now a volunteer support worker, Sarah says she has reaped the benefits of taking part in the group, and will be heading off on the Ship for World Youth in January.
Loud and Proud project leader Nicola Ure encouraged Sarah to apply to the programme, which will see her join 200 young people from 11 countries on a two-month cruise funded by the government of Japan.
Participants will have the opportunity to study and discuss shared issues from a global perspective, participating in a variety of activities to cultivate international and intercultural awareness and leadership.
Nicola is really proud of Sarah for all she has achieved since joining the group.
Nicola said: ‘Our aim is to move them forward into employment and just help them in everyday life.
‘I love seeing them achieve and seeing their confidence build and making a difference with them. Even though I might be strict, they never get stroppy or funny with me, I honestly feel they respect me.’
To find out more about getting involved, visit gva.org.uk/individuals/volunteering/loud-proud.