A charity raffle to help a school in Ed Sheeran’s hometown is making headlines this morning as the singer’s prototype Equals guitar raised £52,765.
The 30-year-old pop star worked with Northern Ireland-based guitar-maker George Lowden to create a signature instrument to mark his “coming of age” album Equals.
The Shivers hitmaker donated it to be raffled by Suffolk-based charity GeeWizz, with the money raised to go towards a music pod and disabled access facilities at a school in Framlingham.
Any funds left over will be distributed by GeeWizz to other projects for learning disabled and neurodivergent children around Suffolk.
The winner of the £5-a-ticket raffle was hospital worker Kellie Myers from Ipswich, whose two sons Henry, 14, and 13-year-old Jacob are learning to play guitar.
Sheeran signed the guitar, personalising it with the message ‘Henry + Jacob! Play this guitar!’
The singer-songwriter also wrote ‘Wait for me to come home…’, which Ms Myers said are her favourite lyrics from his song Photograph.
Ms Myers said she was “thrilled and delighted” to have won, adding: “The guitar is beautiful.
“My boys have been learning to play for a couple of years now. As a family we adore Ed. He really supports our community and local charities.”
“GeeWizz is an amazing charity and they’ve been doing a lot for the local community, so we wanted to support them and Ed.”
Some 10,553 raffle tickets were sold in more than 160 countries around the world.
In a video message recorded while holding the guitar, ahead of the raffle, Sheeran said: “This is the prototype of the new Equals guitar by Sheeran Guitars by Lowden.
“It is one of one, there is not another guitar like this.
“This is the guitar that gets sent to me to check that all the other guitars are all right – it says prototype in it.
“To win this, it’s a £5 raffle which goes to charity.
“It’s going to build a music centre at a primary school near me, which I’m really excited about.
“If you win it you can have it personalised, I can write some lyrics on it, I’ll do whatever you want!”
Sheeran also donated three signed Ipswich Town Football Club 2021/22 home football shirts with an Ed Sheeran “Tour” sponsor logo across the chest for three runners-up in the raffle.
They went to Rossignol Sylvianne from France, Chris Noakes from Essex and Justin Taite from Canada.
Sir Robert Hitcham’s School in Framlingham is without a music room for its pupils and is in need of extra facilities for learning disabled and neurodivergent students.
Gina Long MBE, Founder of GeeWizz said: “What a wonderful life-changing fundraiser to finish the year with, it’s the very best Christmas present GeeWizz is able to give, thanks to the generosity and kindness of Ed Sheeran, who is charity champion on every level.”