Feeling the Vibe
4 June 2019 | Wales
Charity supports young LGBT+ people gain confidence.
When people help people, everybody thrives. And for some of the young people who attend the youth group GoodVibes, they have the volunteers to thank for helping them through potentially challenging times. Here is a place to gain support, meet other young people and participate in activities and be active for LGBT+ rights.
One young person who has benefited is Zack Cole, a happy, confident 24-year-old working towards his ambition of becoming a youth worker. That his life is in such a good place, despite a troubled few years, is thanks wholly to the inspirational Swansea charity he claims.He started attending when he was 19 and now volunteers at the youth forum and support group for 11 to 25-year-olds who identify as LGBT+ or are allies.
The young people themselves lead programmes, deliver sessions, attend excursions, participate in activism, and gain volunteering opportunities as well as opportunities to get their voices heard.
The local police Hate Crime team frequently visits to speak to the young people to help them report and challenge prejudice or discrimination.
“What I like about it is that we are all equal here,” says Zack who identifies as transgender and is currently transitioning from female to male.
“I started coming along when I was 19. I had phoned a helpline as I did not know where to turn and they recommended this place. The first time I showed up I was pretty nervous. But over the years, thanks to GoodVibes and all the support they have given me, I have grown in confidence. I have made some amazing friends who have all stuck by me.
“They have also worked with me to attain my Level 2 qualification in youth work. They put on courses at the local YMCA and I put my name down.
“GoodVibes have become my other family, they have an amazing team of youth workers here and it really lives up to its name. I have seen also how it helps others, we had one young gay man who was struggling so much with his identify with his sexuality that he purposely isolated himself. He was practically housebound. But after he got the courage to come along to the group he blossomed. Now I like helping others and organise events and give talks on subjects like internet safety.”
Geraint Turner, 27, senior project leader at GoodVibes, added: “The charity fulfills a very big need in this area. It gives young people the chance to be who they want to be. Most importantly it also gives them a safe space for them to explore their identity in a place they feel comfortable.”