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Teenage singer-songwriter to release song raising awareness of self-harm

PUBLISHED: 19:00 25 August 2020

Roma Manteiga-Nicholson, has released a song to raise awareness about self-harm. Picture: JON TURNER

Roma Manteiga-Nicholson, has released a song to raise awareness about self-harm. Picture: JON TURNER

Archant

Up and coming singer-songwriter Roma Manteiga-Nicholson is set to release a song to get people talking about self-harm.

Young Ipswich singer Roma Nicholson busked her way around the Elmer trail last year - singing 55 songs at 55 Elmer's in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNYoung Ipswich singer Roma Nicholson busked her way around the Elmer trail last year - singing 55 songs at 55 Elmer's in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Roma, aged 14, is no stranger to writing songs or raising funds for local charities having donated more than £16,500 to several local organisations in the last three years.

Every year the Northgate High School pupil chooses local charities to support with her performances at events, donations and busking.

This year she has chosen Zest, part of St Elizabeth Hospice, and Student Life, which trains youngsters to become mental health ambassadors.

With a busy diary of events booked, the young singer songwriter was excited and looking forward to 2020 until Covid-19 and lockdown hit.

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She said: “Music unites people and helps me cope with the effects of bullying and teenage stresses, so to have all my events cancelled has really affected my mental health.”

Roma live-streamed every week for six weeks during lockdown, raising money for her chosen charities - and the NHS - and raised more than £350, but admits it just was not the same as performing live with an audience and she’s missing live music.

However, the 14-year-old has renewed positivity as she prepares to release a charity song for Student Life.

The song - Who I Am - will be released on August 30 - Roma’s 15th birthday - and the singer hopes it will raise hundreds of pounds for the award-winning charity’s mental health work in Suffolk and beyond. The song is about learning to love yourself and tearing down the walls surrounding mental health.

Student Life’s chief executive Richard Stewart said: “The idea was discussed during the making of our latest film on self-harm amongst young people and its prevalence in Suffolk and throughout the UK.”

The song will also feature as the soundtrack for the film Hiding In Plain Sight, which will form part of a new national self-harm awareness project that Student Life is exclusively working on with Samaritans.

Mr Steward added: “Student Life is in a unique position to use our own, young person-led, film production company to create films that are produced by and which feature the young people themselves.”


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