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Island youth talent dazzles at Young Stars of Mann, presented by Isle Listen

August 3, 2023

Local audiences were left amazed last week as a roster of the Isle of Man’s best youth talent took to the Gaiety Theatre stage for Young Stars of Mann (Thursday 27 July), presented by mental health charitable initiative Isle Listen.

Compered by local performer, Jack Divers, the event showcased a dazzling variety of performances, from brass and rock bands and baton twirling, to poetry, singing and dancing.

Acts and performers included Hadassah Smith (Manx Youth Bard), Eve Puzzar (Young Singer of Mann 2023), Orry Wilson (Young Actor of Mann 2023), Anna Tamarova (Junior Singer of Mann 2023), EJECT (Battle of the Bands Isle of Man 2023 Senior Winners), Evan O’Dea, Lulabelle Findlay, Joseph Delaney and Amélie Jackson (British Classical & Modern Sequence Dancing Champions 2023), the Manx Youth Band, and champion Irish dancers from Manx Trinity Academy.

With ages ranging from four to 25, the show proved to be a unique and diverse celebration of the Island’s finest young talents from a range of performing arts backgrounds, whilst also raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing.

Lady Lorimer, Patron of Isle Listen, was in attendance and described the whole experience as “outstanding”.

The show was generously sponsored by Simcocks, ensuring that all funds raised from ticket sales went directly to support the increasingly essential work of Isle Listen.

Since 2019, the charity has grown from a team of eight to 35 people and demand for their services continues to increase.

In the last 12 months alone, Isle Listen’s one-to-one therapeutic service has received more than 1,300 individual referrals.

The charity also offers a listening service in all of the Island’s secondary schools, providing transformative support for many young people who are struggling with daily life issues, such as exam stress, social media, bullying, and friendship issues.

Recognising the need to support already overstretched statutory services on the Island, and to alleviate pressure on CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), all of their services for young people are offered without charge.

However, the cost of this provision rose to £1.7 million last year and the need continues to rise.

Andrea Chambers, CEO of Isle Listen, said:

“This event was an amazing idea from our fundraising team and our Natalie Cellamare, and has involved the time and input of our entire staff to make it the success it was. We were really delighted to be able to showcase such an array of incredible young people, some at the very start of their performing careers, and some who are well experienced. It was an honour to bring them together and give them the chance to perform in this uplifting and sometimes emotional evening. We really hope we have the chance to do something similar in the future but are just drawing breath before making that commitment!

“We are so very grateful to everyone who gave their time to perform and share their talents with us. Thanks also to their parents and supporters for the hours committed to nurturing their children; to all of the teachers who give so much of their time, often voluntarily; to the incredibly supportive audience without whom shows like this would not be possible and to all the people behind the scenes who made this show possible.

“I would like to give special thanks to Colette Wilde for her incredible vision and extraordinary organisational skills, and to Jack Divers, who held the whole evening together as compere. Not an easy task with so many acts!

“Isle Listen has, in a very short time, become an essential service, and the need for financial support from government and other agencies has never been more urgent. It is a relentless challenge for us as a Third Sector organisation to ensure our survival, and events such as Young Stars of Mann are crucial. I cannot thank Simcocks enough for enabling us to make this evening happen.”

Photo credit Gary Weightman, Vannin Photos

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