Deaf Havana frontman takes on new role in West Norfolk charity

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After the success of his sell-out solo fundraising gig last Friday, Deaf Havana frontman James Veck-Gilodi has been inspired by his own struggles to become a patron for West Norfolk Mind.

The lead singer of the alternative rock band performed a rare acoustic show for a packed audience at Lynn Arts Centre to raise funds and awareness for mental health charity West Norfolk Mind.

Zena Penty, volunteer co-ordinator, said: “The whole evening was a complete success in every way.

“James gave a very personal performance – not only were his songs very passionate, he was very funny and very honest about the times he had struggled with his own mental health having suffered anxiety, depression and panic attacks and admitted that it felt pretty scary being totally alone on the stage without his band.”

After hearing the phenomenal feedback from the audience about what an inpiration James is and how they could relate to his experiences and music, the organisers decided he would make a perfect patron for the charity.

Zena said: “When asked he said he would love to do it and can’t wait to be more involved. The event is thought to have raised at least £800 and we even received a £100 donation for the rather sweaty West Norfolk Mind T-Shirt he had worn during the performance.”

Eddie West-Burnham, CEO at West Norfolk Mind, said: “We are absolutely delighted James has chosen to support us and having him as a patron will help us access the local young people who we know need our help.

“His lyrics often relate to times when his confidence was low or he felt vulnerable. Many young people feel the same and we want them to have every opportunity to improve their mental wellbeing through our Building Resilience Project, the NHS Wellbeing Service and Early Intervention Team.”

Lynn girl, Sophie Mason, won the two free tickets to the show. She said: “It was a dream come true to win, because of how much James and the band have helped me without them even knowing. The support acts were amazing and the acoustic show phenomenal and I’m so thankful to have been there.” Find out more about free workshops and counselling offered through the Building Resilience Project from Julie Simper on 07935 955056.

For more information about services, support for carers, volunteering or fundraising, call 01553 776966.