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Charity single hits all the right notes

An inspirational single which charts the journey from mental ill health to recovery has gone on sale to raise vital funds to send a group of dedicated young people on a "life-changing" trip to share their experiences of mental health at an international conference.

Members of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's (NSFT) two youth councils – one in Norfolk and another in Suffolk - have been invited to attend and present at the conference in Canada, before visiting a range of youth projects there to bring back some of what they learn to inform services here. 

But to get there they need to raise £36,000 and this charity single is their next fundraising step.

The original song, called 'Moving On In My New Life,' has been written by former music teacher Mark Brown, who now works as an Assistant Practitioner with NSFT's Child, Family and Young Person's Service, in King's Lynn.

All proceeds from its sale will go towards the ambitious bid by the 16 youth council members to fund their own trip to take part in the International Association for Youth Mental Health (IAYMH) conference, which will be held in Montreal, Canada in October.

"I had always wanted to release a charity single and this seemed like the ideal time to do so and really make something quite special," said Mark, who plays the piano accompaniment on the track, with the vocals performed by Rachael Bird.

"The song is about recovery, so it seemed to fit well with the Youth Council's aims of raising awareness of mental health and challenging stigmas. Hopefully the lyrics will help people to understand what it is like to have a mental health need while showing them that recovery is possible, people do get better and there is life after mental ill health.

"It is really exciting and quite amazing to see a song you have written and performed available at so many big online stores. Lots of my friends have already downloaded it, and it's great that so many people are really getting behind the single and giving us their support.

"I am really proud – it's incredible to hear your own words performed on a track and see your work so visible to so many people, and I hope we are helping to spread an important message about mental health at the same time."

The 16 young people are also holding a variety of fundraising activities, including cake sales, quizzes and sponsored walks and swims throughout the summer and have already received generous donations from local Lions groups and companies. 

If they hit their fundraising target, they will present a dynamic video explaining their experiences of mental ill health, what they get from working with the Youth Council, and what they feel it has achieved, as well as personally addressing delegates from across the globe during the conference.

"We are doing lots of different things to help raise money for the trip, and everyone in our team has really pulled together to lend their support, which is fantastic," added Mark. "We hope to raise as much as possible so that we can give these young people the opportunity to share their expertise with an international audience and explain more about the good work we are doing in Norfolk and Suffolk.

"During the visit, they will also get the opportunity to visit different services so that we can bring back best practice from other countries to further improve the services that we provide."

Anyone who would like to download the single can do so via iTunesAmazonMP3 and Google Play. To donate to the fundraising campaign, please visit ​