World Music

Ed Sheeran donates $13,000 to his teenage idols’ charity appeal

Ed Sheeran has donated $13,700 (£10,000) to a hospice after an appeal from a member of the band who gave him his first break as a teenage musician.

When he was just 14 years old, Ed began helping folk duo Nizlopi, who had a hit in 2005 with JCB Song, as a guitar technician, before going on to support them on tour.

One member of the group, John Parker, is running a ‘virtual’ marathon to raise funds for Britain’s Myton Hospices charity, and asked the Shape of You hitmaker to help spread the word about his efforts. Hours later, John received a donation for £10,000 under the name Ted and they have since chatted about his run.

John told Kenilworth Weekly News: “I’m massively touched by Ed’s sponsorship, kindness and support; it proves that no matter how famous you get, you can still be a top person.”

The Myton Hospices needs to raise £7.8 million ($10.7 million) to continue providing its services free of charge, to continue helping people in England’s Midlands region who are suffering from life limiting illnesses.

Ruth Freeman, the organisation’s chief executive officer, thanked Ed and John, commenting: “We are blown away by Ed Sheeran’s donation and would like to thank him for his generosity and support, it really will make a big difference to our patients and their families.

“John has done such a fantastic job training for his marathon, and continuing to raise awareness and vital funds for Myton and we can’t thank him enough! None of our work would be possible without people like him.”

Ed, who also supports St Elizabeth Hospice in his native Suffolk, spoke about working with Nizlopi during a 2017 appearance on BBC Radio show Desert Island Discs.

“Basically, everything from my live set, the way I control my voice, the way I control the audience, the way I play the guitar even, the way I used beat box… this comes from this band,” he explained.

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