Christmas Number One challenge taken up by St Helena Hospice assistant nurse who went viral with Adele song

PUBLISHED: 18:07 25 July 2016 | UPDATED: 18:07 25 July 2016

Emma Young, assistant nurse at St Helena Hospice in Colchester.

Emma Young, assistant nurse at St Helena Hospice in Colchester.


The hospice star who moved staff and patients to tears with a beautiful Adele rendition which has gone viral has said she would relish the chance to release a Christmas song for the charity.

Emma Young, assistant nurse at St Helena Hospice in Colchester.Emma Young, assistant nurse at St Helena Hospice in Colchester.

Emma Young, an assistant nurse at St Helena Hospice in Colchester, says she has been blown away by the response to a Facebook video of her singing Adele’s 2008 cover of Make You Feel My Love.

More than 50,000 people worldwide have viewed her performance, which was posted by the hospice on Friday evening. It has even been picked up by American media.

“I can’t believe it has gone viral,” the 21-year-old said, speaking to the EADT.

“It is just insane. On Friday night, I was really exited about the fact it had one thousand views. Now it is more than 40,000.

Emma Young, assistant nurse at St Helena Hospice in Colchester.Emma Young, assistant nurse at St Helena Hospice in Colchester.

“My friends are saying ‘can you believe it’? It is crazy. My mum and dad are really proud of me.”

She began playing music aged five. She enjoyed the accordion before switching to the piano aged 10, and started singing at the Thomas Lord Audley School in Colchester.

“When I started at the hospice a year ago, there was a piano, which was a big bonus. I just sat down one day and played, and they all loved it,” she said.

“At open mic nights in front of a lot of people, I really do get nervous. But at work I feel comfortable because I know they are all enjoying it anyway. They are in the last parts of their lives and it takes them away from that for a minute.

“I love singing to the patients. It is a form of therapy for some of them.”

She said she tried to block out the emotional response to her song on Friday as she might have “bawled her eyes out too”.

“I love that song,” she added. “I used it for my audition to get in to Colchester Institute to study for extended diploma in popular music.

“I love Adele. I absolutely love her. Vocally she is fantastic and she is just such a laugh. Her voice is just incredible. I would love to see her live. She is definitely on my list. I have got all of her albums. I pretend I’m Adele when I’m driving to work!”

Surprisingly, Adele has only achieved two UK number one hits. Emma is now hoping to join her after taking up the challenge of releasing a charity Christmas number one hit on behalf of the hospice.

“I am happy to do it. It would be a lot of fun,” she said.

“I have never done anything like that. My brother, Sam, plays guitar and is really good at writing songs. I can always get him to help. If anyone one else would like to write a song, I would be happy for the help.”

She can take inspiration from the Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir, who beat Justin Bieber to last year’s Christmas number one.

She added: “There is plenty of time to work on something. I tend to do slower songs. I would have to look into what it could be.”

St Helena Hospice

The hospice helps people with an incurable illness to live well and die with dignity and choice.

The hospice has a 15-bed Inpatient Unit and a day centre in Clacton and Colchester. But the majority of the hospice’s work takes place out in the community, caring for people in their own homes.

The hospice also supports family members offering respite, complementary therapies, counselling and bereavement services.

Sarah Green, director of income and communications the hospice, said: “To see this video go viral is just amazing. It is such a great opportunity for us to raise awareness about St Helena Hospice and hospice care nationally.

“Hospice care is not just about medical care and physical symptoms; it really is about caring for the ‘whole’ person and making people’s days brighter, whether through a spontaneous song at our piano or providing a listening ear.

“We are extremely proud of our staff and volunteers and hope this video has made a few people smile.

“We also hope that this video and Emma’s beautiful voice might help spread the word about the hospice and hopefully raise more money so we can continue to provide our services for those that need them in our community.”

There are many ways that people can support the hospice from taking part in an upcoming event or challenge, donating online, playing its weekly lottery, or shopping in one of its charity shops. To find out more, visit or

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