Belfast Telegraph

Queen's University medical students become YouTube sensation for charity

By Victoria O'Hara

A group of medical students from Queen’s University are hoping a video they star in will become an internet sensation and help to raise thousands of pounds for third world hospitals this Christmas.

The singing and dancing trainee doctors perform in the the five minute production that features an original song written by members of the Student's Working Overseas Trust (SWOT).

Within the first 72 hours of it being posted on YouTube it received 10,000 views.

Run by fourth year medical students at Queen's University Belfast SWOT is aiming to raise over £45,000 for hospitals in deprived countries.

And the team is hoping that the track ‘This is SWOT’ which is on iTunes and Amazon will be downloaded to go towards hitting the target and help save lives.

It was originally penned by students Johnny McDonnell and Sean McNicholl as a theme song for the charity.

The opening includes a hospital ward scene filmed in the Queen’s Clinical Skills Education Centre and also uses the grounds of Queen’s

University and the famous Harland and Wolff cranes for the backdrops to the video.

The two musicians also appear in the video alongside fellow students Alana Spence, Michael McKee and Luke Ward.

Filmed and produced by local company Four Creatives over two weeks Johnny said it was “great craic”.

“We wrote the basis of it in a day,” he said.

The 21-year-old from Belfast said they were really pleased with the result.

“The song sums up what our society is about, and it's a new way for us to try and raise funds for those who need it most,” he said.
Every penny raised from the downloads will go towards third world hospitals.

And every download will be enough to buy 15 tetnaus vaccinations for African children—or prevent a baby being born with HIV.

The students will hand-deliver medical supplies to the third world hospitals.

“We have been so pleased with the response so far. To get 10,000 hits in the first 72 hours is huge for us. We now have about 12,700.”

But he added it was always his plan to create a video.

Johnny said they received a lot of support from the university and local businesses.

“It was tough at the start trying to get our idea across to make it seen that we were not just coming up with a silly idea,” he added.

But he said it was important to come up with “something different” to try and raise money.

“It is a tough economic climate. But we have had 12,500 hits but 400 downloads—that is where the money will come from for these hospitals.

“I think it has been a while since the uni students have done something like this and we just wanted to show people that we were capable of coming up with some fresh ideas to raise some money.

“I really just want to raise as much as possible. If we could make 20,000 downloads that would be incredible but our main goal is just to get it to go viral. Then we would feel we have achieved something.”


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