Teen takes to stage for a star-studded charity gala

Lambeth teenager Sophia Vidal-Martin took to the stage last week to perform at the SeriousFun charity gala.

The event was attended by celebrities including David Gray, Dame Diana Rigg, Michael Sheen, Sarah Hadland, Emily Atack and the lead singer and the guitarist of Stereophonics, Kelly Zones and Adam Zidani.

The gala was organised to celebrate the work of The SeriousFun Network – a global community of charities that provide free residential camps for seriously ill children- set up by Hollywood legend and philanthropist, Paul Newman.

Sophia, 18, sang at the event as one the performers representing Over The Wall -the UK children’s charity and member of the SeriousFun Children’s Network.

Having been born with the hereditary blood disease Sickle Cell Anaemia, Sophia attended five Over The Wall camps throughout her childhood, and therefore, was delighted to sing at the celebratory gala. She said: “Performing at the gala was a wonderful experience for me.

“It truly exceeded all my expectations.

“Over The Wall camp has been a huge part of my teenage years.

“It has given me so many amazing memories- and I have made so many long-terms friends.

“I hope to volunteer for Over The Wall myself next year. It’s an honour to have represented a charity that is so important and changes so many lives”

The annual event which was sponsored by Abercrombie and Fitch, took place at the Roundhouse in Camden and drew a crowd of more than 400 people. Sophia’s mum, Cheryl said: “When we were introduced to The Over The Wall camp via our specialist heamatology nurse, it sounds corny, but at that time it felt like a life raft.

“Sophia was able to go away on a holiday, without me, where the staff were fully trained, aware of her needs and equipped to deal with any eventuality.

“This was a blessing. Complete freedom and unadulterated fun.

“I really wish all families living with illness could have the opportunity for their children to experience Over The Wall.”

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