Singer-songwriter, 16, records single to help women’s refuge


A young singer-songwriter from Bournemouth is launching her own charity single with a fund-raising all-day music event at Chaplin’s bar in Boscombe this Saturday (October 14).

Bournemouth and Poole College student Nicole McNally, 16, has written a special song entitled Annabelle about domestic abuse, which she is releasing as a single to raise money for the Bournemouth Women’s Refuge, which is run by local housing and support provider BCHA.

Nicole has been performing in public since she was 10 years old and over the past six years has taken part in hundreds of live music events, talent competitions, musical theatre productions and private gigs, performing at local venues including The Pavilion, O2 Academy and Lighthouse, as well as the Queens Theatre and Royal Albert Hall in London. Last year she was a featured artist on BBC Introducing Solent radio show.

The former Avonbourne college pupil was motivated to write the song after she learnt about domestic abuse during one of her school lessons.

Nicole said: “I was inspired to write the song after reading and discussing the topic during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. After playing the song a few times locally and seeing the reaction it received from several survivors, which promoted them to share their own experiences with me, I decided to release Annabelle as a charity single and host the event.

“My aim is to raise much-needed funds and awareness to help others in this position. BCHA is local to me and has its own refuge, so I would love it if as many people as possible could support my event.”

Rather than just release the single, Nicole decided to single-handedly organise a special music event, where she called upon her local music contacts and managed to persuade 16 artists to perform for free and help raise more money for the refuge. So far, the acts who have agreed to perform include Matt Black (piano man), Si Genaro from The Voice, Jonny Phillips, Kimari Raven, Matt Griffiths, Ant Lewis and Nicole McNally herself, plus many more.

Paul Tucker, campaigns and communications manager at BCHA said: “It takes a very exceptional and talented 16-year-old to not only write and release a single but also organise their own charity gig.

“We are absolutely overwhelmed by Nicole’s passion and dedication to help BCHA continue to support women and children affected by domestic abuse and violence.”

Admission to the event is by donation and copies of the single will be available to buy on the day, with all profits going directly to the Women’s Refuge.

Paul added: “This promises to be a wonderful family friendly event with lots of fantastic music from a range of local artists. We would also like to thank Chaplin’s owner Harry Seccombe and his manager Geoff Popple for his help, not to mention all the artists.”

This article first appeared in the Independent. To get the latest articles when they appear, buy the print edition every Sunday or subscribe to our online edition HERE.