Northern Ireland news

Co Derry singer Brooke Scullion (21) adds her voice to song for NHS

Brooke Scullion in The Voice UK
Mairead Holland

A Co Derry student whose appearance in a TV talent show was derailed due to the coronavirus lockdown has leant her voice to a song to raise money for the NHS.

Brooke Scullion (21), from Bellaghy, was due to take part in the semi-final of The Voice UK on March 28.

But since the prime-time ITV show was postponed, the University of Ulster student has decided to try to adopt a positive approach to life in lockdown.

She and other contestants have come together digitally to cover the Stevie Wonder song As to spread a message of hope and help raise money for NHS Charities Together.

They have set up a JustGiving web page to encourage donations.

Brooke, who sings two lines in the video, said she previously didn't know the song but the words are "very powerful" and the aim was to "bring back a bit of kindness to everyone".

Also involved are vocal group Bel Noir, who include Cork-born Sarah Goodwin.

"Bel Noir got in touch with everyone and we all decided we needed to do something for the NHS. It's keeping me busy and giving me motivation," she said.

Brooke, a camogie player for Wolfe Tones GAC, Bellaghy, has also been taking part in other charity fundraising work.

She has run 100km in aid of the Belfast-based Friends of Africa charity.

"I started from my house and ran to my granny's house in Magherafelt, and I would speak to her through the window until I got too cold, and then mummy would come and get me," she said.

"I did that for 10 days in a row. My toenails were falling off and my knees didn't feel like they were attached to my body. It was not fun at all!"

The initiative raised more than £38,000 for the charity which Brooke worked with last year.

She said: "I went to Zambia in the summer of last year. I lived in a priest's home and did charity work with orphanages, and that was a life-changing experience for me."

Like the other remaining contestants in the show, Brooke does not know when she will be able to perform again.

"They want to give us a live audience, so it will depend when restrictions are lifted," she said.

"There had been talk of the semi-final in the summer. It could even be Christmas.

"It was sad when the show was cancelled because I was so ready to perform... but it will give people something positive to look forward to."

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