Ukey Hooky in FalkirkBrian Miller, of Falkirk-based music group Ukey Hooky tells us how a 'Come on in' microgrant from Creative Lives helped get the group improve its online presence and organisational structure.

"A huge thanks to Creative Lives for the Come on In grant, which helped the group to get our website up and running and register as a Community Interest Company.

Ukey Hooky began in June 2022 when I was looking to join a ukulele group but there didn’t appear to be any in the Falkirk area, so I decided to start one myself, and very soon a small group of new players started meeting at the local Community Centre.

From the beginning of 2023 we went through a bit of a lull and had been struggling to attract new people to the group. Some of the people who come along to the group don’t often use social media and are more likely to check out a website. I felt that having a website would help the group attract more people, so I was absolutely delighted when I heard my funding application was successful.

Within the first couple of weeks of our website going live we had 4 new members join the group, and our membership has since doubled! 

Ukey Hooky group FalkirkHowever, the website is more than just something nice to look at, it also serves as a way to encourage new people to learn to play the ukulele who may not be able to access a group, or feel uncomfortable in groups. For an annual membership of just £20 anyone interested in learning to play can access our complete beginner’s course online, download the songbooks, and so much more. 

The group continues to meet every Tuesday evening in the Community Centre. We now have 4 Song Books for different levels of experience, host 2 Showcases a year, produce a quarterly newsletter, and I am in the process of organising a mini Ukulele Festival for next Summer."