Two brothers have spent four days between them listening to Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up on repeat to raise over £6,000 for type 1 diabetes charity JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).
Jack and James White were inspired to do the 75-hour sponsored silence challenge by their seven-year-old nephew, who has type 1 diabetes.
23-year-old Jack, a choirmaster from Southampton, began the sponsored silence challenge at midday on Friday 16 October. He estimated that by 15:00 on Monday 19 October, he would have listened to Never Gonna Give You Up at least 2,500 times.
Astley’s 1980s smash hit was selected after Jack’s friends ranked it as one of three most annoying songs in the world, alongside Idina Menzel’s Let It Go (from Frozen fame) and E Eduard Khil’s Trololo.
Jack stated the rules of the sponsored silence on his JustGiving page.
“I’m going to be taking part in a sponsored silence, with a difference,” said Jack. “Trapped in a hotel room for the weekend (75 hours in total), I won’t have access to any type of entertainment. No book, iPhone, TV or luxury food is allowed. There will also be an annoying song on repeat.
“For somebody with anxiety, OCD and claustrophobia this is a huge challenge for me and something that I’m really going to struggle with.”
Within hours, Jack had broken his £2,000 target. However, online trolls posting on a live stream on his YouTube page led to Jack’s brother, James, taking over the challenge.
In a video message, Jack revealed that upon his nephew saying hello via the live stream, online trolls attacked him. Jack and the JDRF also came under fire from the trolls.
“The comments that flooded the live stream were some of the most difficult, offensive and rude things I have ever had to read,” Jack said. “The fact that my family were at home completely defenceless reading it too made it incredibly hard for me to continue.”
Jack expected the challenge to be abandoned, but when his brother called him up and volunteered to take over, they made the switch, and James took the reins.
James continued in the same vein as Jack. He could not speak or wash, and had to live on a diet of rice, porridge and water.
Upon finishing the challenge, James was released from the hotel room and celebrated with a pint of beer alongside his family.
As of Tuesday 20 October, the White brothers have raised £6,130,00. You can still donate here.
If you are looking to get involved with fundraising for the JDRF, click here. Do you have any fundraising ideas yourself? Share them below in the comments section.