Roma Manteiga-Nicholson, 14, is no stranger to writing songs and raising funds for local charities, having raised over £16,500 for several local charities in the last three years. In 2019 she busked her way around all fifty-five Elmer elephants in Ipswich in one day, raising over £450 for St Elizabeth Hospice.
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, who train 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.
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 Manteiga-Nicholson
Like most teenagers, Roma has also been home schooling since lockdown began in March and has found it incredibly difficult to remain focused and motivated.
“I just want to get back to school. I start my final year of GCSEs in year 11 in September and feel I’ve missed so much work already, that I’m stressing about my exams next year”.
Roma live streamed every week for six weeks during lockdown, raising money for her chosen charities – and the NHS – and raised over £350 but admits it just wasn’t the same as performing live with an audience and she’s missing live music.
However, there is now renewed positivity, with a charity song being released by Roma for Student Life. The song ‘Who I Am‘ will be released on Roma’s 15th birthday – the 30th of August – and she 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.
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.
One of our partners – Healthwatch Suffolk – recently conducted a survey amongst thousands of young people and this highlighted the statistic that Suffolk has a self-harm rate higher than the national average and this must be addressed quicker than it has been to date. 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”Student Life’s Chief Executive Richard Stewart.
The film ‘Hiding In Plain Sight” will be used in a collaboration with the NHS in Suffolk, as well as forming part of a new, national self-harm awareness project that Student Life is exclusively working on with Samaritans. Roma’s song ‘Who I Am’ forms the main soundtrack to the film.
Anyone wanting to purchase a copy of the song can do so via Amazon Music, iTunes, Spotify etc or directly from Roma’s website www.romasworld.co.uk. All proceeds from the CD will go directly to Student Life.