In 2013 I adopted my rescue pup Cassy from Croatia through a small UK charity called Action Aid For Animals.
AAFA go into Eastern European countries like Croatia, Romania and Bosnia where animal protection is non-existent. They rescue, medicate, feed and re-home stray cats and dogs that have often been beaten, abandoned, tortured and worse. Like many small charities, they struggle to raise the kinds of funds larger charities have at their disposal. They receive no state or lottery funding, nor do they have company sponsorship. They rely 100% on donations from the public and gift aid they claim from monetary donations. Miraculously they manage to fund volunteer driven transport for animals that would otherwise be euthanised, driving them across Europe to a new life in their very own ‘furkids’ bus.
After picking up Cass from her 3 day journey, and witnessing the hard work the volunteers had gone to saving the animals we saw in the bus, I really felt I needed to do more. At the time I was working on my album The Wooden House, and coincidentally I’d just recorded an alternate version of a song called Building You The Ark. I didn’t know what to do with the spare track. Then it came to me – the obvious one – release it as a charity single.
“Nobody’s interested in another charity record”, industry people told me, “nobody will buy it.”
But I thought it over, and talked it over with some musician friends, and from a little acorn of an idea grew a much bigger oak tree: The Song Ark.
My vision is two-fold. One big Song Ark full of as many great, hard to get hold of tracks as possible, plus lots of little bespoke Song Arks, or personal collections, downloaded from the site.
Imagine – the outline of your boat, slowly filling with songs. The more songs it holds, the more charities being funded, the more good being done. Who knows how big the ark will grow? Or how much good the music could do? With a virtual ark the size really is infinite.
Launching with my song The Ark (Refrain), and featuring fellow animal welfare supporter and good friend James ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt. Neville Brothers) on upright bass, the proceeds of this song will go to AAFA.
If you’d like to get involved I’d love to hear from you – please get in touch via the Contact page.