A Winsford singer who has raised thousands of pounds for St Luke’s Hospice since the start of the pandemic says the fundraising has helped to turn his life around.
40 year-old Jonny King decided to give up alcohol for a year at the start of 2020 to raise money for the Hospice, but his fundraising really took off when he performed live gigs on Facebook to entertain the community during lockdown.
Jonny has now raised an incredible total of £4,680 for patient care at St Luke’s. He said: “It really is humbling that I raised so much money and engaged the community so much. Well beyond my expectations.
“When I decided to try the challenge of not drinking for a year, I was at a point in my life where I was needing a fresh start, a change for the better. I have always looked at the Hospice as a huge jewel in our little town, so I decided to do it with the idea of raising a little bit of money. I set myself a seemingly unachievable figure of £2,000, thinking that it would keep me focused and driven all year to see the challenge to the end.
“As a singer and karaoke DJ in my spare time, pubs are a big part of my life. So for the first three months it was a real challenge to mentally believe I was capable of keeping people entertained and having confidence to sing without the crutch of alcohol to settle my nerves. Then came lockdown – that’s where the struggle began. Very quickly it became apparent that boredom was starting to set in – and in the past that was my Achilles heel. It’s so easy to have a drink when sat doing nothing.
“I came up with the idea of Carpool Karaoke and invited people to sing with me in my car live on Facebook and added the JustGiving link. It was amazing and it raised money – which gave me so much confidence and drive to continue forward. I then started to sing live garden fundraising gigs on Facebook Live. That first one raised my tally to £750. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that night and it started an incredible rest of the year.”
When pubs reopened, Jonny was offered several gigs – his first at the Princess Feathers in Winsford raising £155 more towards his total. He has since been offered gigs in Manchester and Chester and donated the earnings from his first two gigs to St Luke’s.
Jonny added: “I was being messaged daily by friends and strangers too, saying how I’ve helped them through lockdown. I have shown to everyone that if you believe in things you want to achieve and work hard, it will happen. If I can do this, then anyone can achieve anything – you just have to conquer your mind. I am so unbelievably glad I chose the Hospice as my charity to support – long may it continue.”
Angela Slack, Community Partnerships Manager for St Luke’s Hospice, said: “We can’t thank Jonny enough for choosing St Luke’s to benefit from his amazing fundraising. We are overwhelmed not just by the fantastic amount Jonny has raised for the Hospice, but by the strength and determination he has shown over the year. His fundraising has clearly impacted positively on his life and others during a very difficult year, and we are delighted that St Luke’s has played a part in that. The money Jonny has raised and generously donated will help fund patient care at the Hospice and we are so very grateful for his ongoing support.”