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Thursday, 27 November 2014

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Singing in the bath video earns Cumbria council boss big YouTube audience

During the week single mum Jill Jones is a senior manager at Cumbria County Council.

Jill Jones photo
Jill Jones

Weblink: Sunbeam's YouTube channel

But in her free time, this busy professional loves nothing better than to share her music and poetry via the internet video sharing website YouTube.

Whether she’s singing the Willie Nelson classic Crazy from her candlelit bathtub or reciting her latest heartfelt poem, thirty-something Jill is a big hit with her fans.

So much so that so far she has achieved more than 47,000 views of her videos.

A lifelong ‘closet poet’, Jill, of Carlisle, first turned to YouTube as a means of sharing her writing with people.

Despite initial shyness, the Cumbria Care boss was encouraged to branch out and now regularly posts videos of herself singing to the backing tracks of her favourite songs.

She is helped by her 13-year-old son who tackles the technical side of preparing videos.

In one video Jill, whose user name is Sunbeam, tells how she has been passionate about writing poetry all her life and was thrilled by the positive response of her fans.

“I’ve been thrilled at the reaction I’ve had,” she said.

She said: “People have been very encouraging on YouTube and that’s inspired me.

“Before I didn’t dare share my poetry except with a few close friends and then somebody dared me to do a karaoke on YouTube.

“When I was at school I used to sing a lot and I’ve always found it very uplifting but I’m doing it for fun.

“I did Crazy because somebody requested it and I got the inspiration to do it in the bath, but it’s all very tastefully done and I’m covered by bubbles.

“I started going on YouTube in February last year and so far I’ve had 47,453 video views and I have 660 people who are now subscribers to my channel. I’ve got to know people all over the world. I’m going on holiday to America where I hope to meet up with six of the people I’ve got to know.”

Jill says she has never considered taking part in a TV programme such as Britain’s Got Talent.

Her primary interest has always been her poetry, which covers a range of themes such as love, loss, and the struggle of life as a single mum in Cumbria.

Encouraged by the response she has had, she now hopes to find a publisher.

One of her poems, The Love of My life, starts with the poignant words:

The love of my life was only a whisper
A slight ripple of air, an almost silent sigh
The love of my life came so close beside me
I could almost touch him, as he breathed with me
Saw through me, almost standing by my side

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