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Roma’s songs bring real hope for the homeless in Ipswich this winter

PUBLISHED: 15:36 07 December 2017

Roma presents £4,000 to Julia Hancock, business manager at Selig Suffolk, which runs the Ipswich winter night shelter for the homeless, Picture: CHRIS SILVESTER

Roma presents £4,000 to Julia Hancock, business manager at Selig Suffolk, which runs the Ipswich winter night shelter for the homeless, Picture: CHRIS SILVESTER


A talented young performer has raised £4,000 from her self-penned collection of songs to help the homeless sleeping on the streets of Ipswich.

Roma performing. Picture: JON TURNER Roma performing. Picture: JON TURNER

Singer songwriter Roma Manteiga Nicholson, aged 12, who has recently won through to the national final of a major competition, raised the money through sales, downloads and performances of a charity EP CD called Welcome to the Waterfront she released last June.

She doubled her original target of £2,000 and was able to present Julia Hancock, business manager at Selig Suffolk, which runs the Ipswich winter night shelter for the homeless, with a cheque for £4,000 at a charity concert where she performed alongside Dean Vinyard, Diamond Vocal, Bobby Crowhurst and rock band Hoaxx.

Roma, from Pinewood and a pupil at St Alban’s Catholic High School in Ipswich, decided to support the night shelter after her mum Rosa volunteered there last year.

She said: “I’m very proud of my mum for volunteering. She suffers from anxiety so it’s a really big thing for her to do and the shelter offers hope to the homeless, especially when it’s so cold in winter.”

The shelter is currently open nights until March.

The Stagecoach Performing Arts School student recently won through to the grand final of the Open Mic UK Songwriters Competition, which takes place at the NEC in Birmingham in January, where she will sing her original song Father off her EP.

Her youtube music video for the song has received over 24,000 views.

Just one of six finalists and the youngest in the prestigious open mic competition, she fought off 10,000 entries to gain her deserved final place – and will be flying the flag for Suffolk.

Artists like Luke Friend and Birdy are previous winners with Birdy being the same age as Roma when she won in 2008

Roma’s next project is to record an album in 2018 and she will be collaborating with local musicians on this and will also continue fundraising for local charities.

She said: “Suffolk has so many talented musicians and singers and I can’t wait to start working with them to produce a really special collection of original songs next year.”

To donate to Roma’s fundraising campaign for Selig Suffolk visit

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