Sunderland X Factor sensation and mental health champion gets BME in King's Birthday Honours List

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A former X Factor contestant from Sunderland has won a King’s Birthday honour for her outstanding work on mental health.

Sharna Bowman, 33, has received the British Empire Medal eight years after she was on the show.

Her 2016 TV appearance, as part of a duo called He Knows, She Knows, had a profound effect on Sharna.

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Such a precious memory from 2016 when Sharna Bowman got her marriage proposal from partner Stephen Elms (stage name Silvar Laidlow).Such a precious memory from 2016 when Sharna Bowman got her marriage proposal from partner Stephen Elms (stage name Silvar Laidlow).
Such a precious memory from 2016 when Sharna Bowman got her marriage proposal from partner Stephen Elms (stage name Silvar Laidlow). | se

100,000 children helped by Sharna

She noticed that many of her young fans were scribbling their own faces out of meet and greet photos.

It inspired her (along with her partner in He Knows, She Knows Stephen Elms, 36) to teach young people about mental health and they have now worked with more than 100,000 children aged from seven to 17.

Eight years on

It is eight years this week since she and Stephen, 36, starred on X Factor. They hit the headlines when they got engaged while they were appearing in auditions. Life has been great for the two stars who are partners in real life and have a little boy called George who is now 10 months old.

Sharna Bowman who is still spreading the word about the importance of mental health.Sharna Bowman who is still spreading the word about the importance of mental health.
Sharna Bowman who is still spreading the word about the importance of mental health. | ugc

He Knows, She Knows are still performing and Sharna admitted she was stunned by her Honours win.

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She said: “Oh my goodness, it is such a shock but a very welcome one.”

Important work on body image discrimination

Her work has been recognised by;

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle who praised her dedication and commitment to tackling mental health and raising awareness of body image discrimination. 

The late Queen recognising the incredible work she is doing.

He Knows She Knows during one of their performances.He Knows She Knows during one of their performances.
He Knows She Knows during one of their performances. | ugc

Now comes her King’s Birthday honour which described how she had ‘positively impacted the lives of thousands of children and young people, giving them the support and confidence to talk about their emotions and struggles’

Her work is so important

Sharna explained why the issue was so important to her.

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“We wanted to give something back. We were doing a job we loved and we had an opportunity to go into schools and workshops about mental health.

“Being in the public eye a little bit, we have to look after our own mental health.

Stephen and Sharna who are still spreading the word about mental health through songs and public appearances.Stephen and Sharna who are still spreading the word about mental health through songs and public appearances.
Stephen and Sharna who are still spreading the word about mental health through songs and public appearances. | ugc

“We hope that we have made a massive difference to people. We talk to them and tell them that if something is right for them in their lives, then that is what they should be doing.

“I hope that all of this is something that George talks about for a long time to come.”

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