It was only three months since Amy Davies picked up a ukulele. She had posted a couple of covers on YouTube as she began practicing.
It was only three months since Amy Davies picked up a ukulele. She had posted a couple of covers on YouTube as she began practicing. However, Davies would soon be taking on a bigger challenge—one song every day for 30 days, all for charity.
Davies, by day a journalist and photographer based in Cardiff, had the idea to take these songs and post them to YouTube to raise money for the cancer charity Tenovus. Davies had taken part in some events for the organisation, which is currently marking its 70th birthday, and so she wondered what could be done. “I did the big sing-a-long,” Davies said. “What could I do that could match that?”
Wanted to learn to play guitar
Davies says she always wanted to learn to play guitar, but the ukulele came as a recommendation from a friend. “[I] started teaching myself using YouTube [videos] and then it progressed from there,” Davies said. “I listen to music but playing it is completely new. I do it, give it a go, and hope for the best.”
Davies then decided to do the YouTube campaign in April, which had become part of Tenovus’ big sing-a-long. “This could be a big challenge,” Davies said, noting she had seen it elsewhere. “[It was a] reason to practice and a reason to get better.”
Yet, what came later for Davies would be surprise, as each song went up each day. When Davies set the JustGiving page up in May, her goal was £150—it was reached. The total kept climbing—the day before she began she reached £500. By day 11 of the challenge it was at £750, and at day 21 she broke the target she set of £1000. “I was surprised on the amount of donations and collaborations. I did not expect to get a thousand,” Davies said.
Social media did me a favour
Davies says that social media had done her campaign a favour, noting there was more engagement of her content on platforms like Facebook and Twitter. She also would not have been able to learn if YouTube had not been in existence. “If the internet weren’t around, there wouldn’t be a way to share [the videos],” Davies said. “If YouTube was around but Facebook and Twitter weren’t, donationswould be less.”
As the last day of the campaign passes, Davies says there is a mix of emotions, but said there is less pressure considering it would not need to be done every day.
Would it be done again?
Yet, would Davies do it again? “I would like to do it again, but I’m not sure if I’d get the same sponsorship,” Davies said. “Not sure if people would be interested. It would also be different—maybe it could be [with a] guitar.”
Overall though, Davies looks fondly at the campaign and the work put in, noting the skills she had learned with fundraising. “I’m happy with what I’ve done. I’ll look at it fondly, look at the fun times,” Davies said, adding it has evolved into more of a hobby and a social gathering. “[It’s] been a social thing I didn’t have before. Now we’re doing more jam sessions.”
And despite the heat, Davies summed up her thoughts in balance in two words: “No regrets.”
This article was amended on 30th July to reflect omissions. Kettle apologises for the error.