Busker’s ambitions: Mel Yeates singing her way across nation for a cause

A GIRL AND HER GUITAR: Musician Mel Yeates is hoping to raise money and awareness of depression, suicide and cancer when she performs in Orange as part of a national busking tour. Photo: SUPPLIEDA woman who is using her life savings to travelAustralia as part of a year-long busking tour to raise money and awareness for suicide, depression and cancer charitieswill perform in Orange in March.
Nanjing Night Net

Mel Yeates’ life was shattered by the tragic death of three friends leading her to take to the road to raise $100,000 for beyondblue and Love Your Sister charities.

The 30-year-old began her tour, A Girl, Her Car and Her Guitar to show people that if they are going through a tough time there are services that can help.

“I didn’t really know about beyondblue when I went through the tragedy of losing two friends in year 9,” she said.

“There are people that can help people who are depressed or touchedby anxiety.”

The Sydney woman’spersonal tragedy began during asecondary school camp when her best friend and another friend were killed in adevastating accident.

“I lost my best friend; we shared everything, that’s how close we were,” Miss Yeates said.

“I lost all interest in school, friends and my family. I didn’t care about study and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.”

Another close family friend committed suicide, and when she was 15 her cousin was diagnosed with cancer.

She is hoping to be in Orange on March 11 or 12 and is yet to finalise a venue.

She said the idea of the tour was inspired byactor Samuel Johnson who is known for roles in mini-seriesMollyandSecret Life of Us, and started the Love Your Sister charity following his sister’s terminal breast cancer diagnosis.

Miss Yeates’inspiration came from his16,000km ride around Australia on a unicycle in 2013 which raisedmore than $1.5 million for cancer research.

“My original goal last year was to raise $20,000 [for beyond blue and Love Your Sister]in 20 months and I managed to do it in six months and I’m at $27,000 now.

“Raising $100,000 is pretty daunting and it’ll take a long time, but I’m going to give it my best.

“Every gig I do, there’s someone in the audience who has been affected by a mental health condition or knows someone who has, and when I share my story they share theirs.

“If I can make people happy while I’m singing, that’s great. I just want to make that difference.”

BeyondblueCEO Georgie Harman said Miss Yeates is helping thousands of people living with mental health conditions.

“Mel has already raised a significant amount for us and now she’s devoting an entire year of her life to the cause,” she said.

To donate, visitgofundme南京夜网/gcgmy.

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