Member News & Events

16-year-old’s musical mission to support local women’s refuge

*Nicole McNally is available for radio, television and press interviews

A young singer-songwriter from Bournemouth is launching her own charity single with a fundraising all day music event at Chaplin’s bar in Boscombe on Saturday 14th October.

16 year-old Bournemouth and Poole College student Nicole Mcnally 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 ‘Annabelle’, 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 singlehandedly 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 very 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 is to the event is by donation and copies of the single will be available to purchase on the day, with all profits from the single and event 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 for letting us use his venue and his manager Geoff Popple for his help, not to mention all the artists for giving their precious time for free.”

Details of the event can be found at

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AFC Bournemouth Cherries Community Fund help for children affected by domestic abuse

A member of staff from a Women’s Refuge in Bournemouth collected a cheque for £1,000 from AFC Bournemouth Cherries Community Fund to support children who are impacted by domestic abuse.

The refuge, which is run by local housing and support provider BCHA, plans to use the donation to convert a garage, which is damp and used for storage, into a computer room for the children to use. Currently the refuge has no computer access for the women and children and the building also has no wi-fi service.

Naomi James, BCHA’s Project Leader for Domestic Abuse Services in Bournemouth, said, “We are very grateful for the generosity of AFC Bournemouth Cherries Community Fund. Our ambition is to have a computer hub with 3 work stations that would give children the opportunity to learn, complete school or college homework tasks and projects and also have fun in a safe environment.

However, the refuge still requires an additional £6,000 of funding to complete the project, so will need to find the remainder via donations, fundraising and grants.

Naomi, added, “While the AFC Bournemouth donation won’t pay for the whole project, it will be an enormous step forward in helping to kick start the refurbishment. If there are local people or businesses out there that could possible donate time, resources or materials to help us complete the conversion, we would really love to hear from them.

When women get into the refuge their priority is their children, so we desperately want to provide a computer room that would benefit both women and children and help promote digital inclusion.”

If you would like to help with the refuge’s refurbishment project, please call Naomi James at BCHA on 01202 410500.

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Bournemouth café seek gift donations for families affected by domestic abuse


Flirt Café Bar in Bournemouth’s Triangle is helping to bring some festive cheer to victims of domestic abuse this Christmas by asking customers and members of the public to donate a gift to go under the tree in its premises.

The owners of Flirt, Peter Moody and Rob Hazell, are once again supporting local charity BCHA, which runs two Women’s Refuges in the Poole and Bournemouth area. The organisation is a specialist housing and social care provider, helping homeless and vulnerable people access the right housing, health, learning and work opportunities.

Flirt co-owner, Peter Moody, said, “We are really pleased to help again this year, as we have each year so far. The wonderful customers and friends of Flirt are always so generous and we hope that this year we can beat our previous record of the number of presents for those who probably feel a bit forgotten. Many of our friends add a small present to their shopping and put it under our tree on their way home it is as easy as that and makes such a huge difference. It is great to know that those in a Dorset Refuge this year will have a slightly happier Christmas because of what we can all do.”

People are being asked to bring presents, big or small, unwrapped or in open gift bags by noon on December 22nd in time for BCHA staff to deliver them. Flirt Café Bar is based at 21 The Triangle and is open every day from 8am until 11pm.

Paul Tucker, Campaigns and Communications Manager at BCHA, said, “We are delighted that once again Flirt Café is supporting BCHA, and in particular our Women’s Refuges, this Christmas. This time of year is always a particularly difficult time for the women and children in our refuges. However, through the generosity of Flirt and the public, we can deliver some joy with gifts and help reassure them that this year they are safe and not living with fear, intimidation and violence.”


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