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Kind List 2021

Ed Sheeran

The Thinking Out Loud singer always gives back to his local Suffolk community

Charity begins at home and that's certainly the case for Ed Sheeran. The Suffolk-raised star gave back tonnes to his local community as it struggled during the pandemic.

He donated over £1m to local charities and organisations, including to Ipswich Hospital and to the Aldeburgh Hospital League Of Friends, the hospital that cared for his late grandmother. That particular £10,000 donation went to buying musical instruments for dementia patients and those with special needs and audio-visual disabilities.

Hospice care is where a lot of his charitable donations go to, as his friend and fellow musician John Parker revealed to HELLO!. John ran the London Marathon in honour of his late mum in September and received a very generous £10,000 donation from Ed for his hospice appeal.

"Ed Sheeran is a truly thoughtful person. Before my Mum died, I promised her I would run the virtual London Marathon to raise money for the wonderful Myton Hospice, who were helping me with her end-of-life care... Out of the blue, a huge donation of 10k appeared on my JustGiving page, and I knew it was from him. He shared with me that hospice care is where a lot of the money he gives to charity goes but that he couldn't understand why anyone would run a marathon!" - John Parker, Ed Sheeran's friend and fellow musician

John shared: "Ed Sheeran is a truly thoughtful person. I lost my Mum this February after a seven-year battle with vascular dementia during which time I chose to care for her myself at home. Before she died, I promised her I would run the virtual London Marathon to raise money for the wonderful Myton Hospice, who were helping me with her end-of-life care.

"Ed had been a huge Nizlopi fan and had even toured with us, acting as our guitar tech many years ago, so although we'd not been in touch for a few years - I've been busy with care and Ed had become one of the most famous musicians on earth - I emailed him to ask if he could get the word out about my charity race.

"After I sent the email, I totally regretted it as it dawned on me just how much I was asking one of the most famous people in the world. A few days passed by and I felt relief that perhaps my email hadn't gotten to him. Then, out of the blue, a huge donation of 10k appeared on my JustGiving page, and I knew it was from him.

"Ed Sheeran, what a lovely guy. He's the nicest person, and I think people like that so deserve to be successful. I can't explain it, but you feel his kindness when you talk to him" - Peter Andre

"He shared with me that hospice care is where a lot of the money he gives to charity goes but that he couldn't understand why anyone would run a marathon! Myton Hospice wanted to publicise the story and Ed immediately said yes, knowing full well what a difference his name would make to get them mentioned in the national press and to bring the donations in.

"Ed is a down-to-earth, and kind person – he even messaged after the race to say I deserved a beer. But we haven't been for one... yet."

Mysterious Girl singer Peter Andre also echoed this, telling HELLO!: "Ed Sheeran, what a lovely guy. He's the nicest person, and I think people like that so deserve to be successful. I can't explain it, but you feel his kindness when you talk to him."

Ed's philanthropic focus is also on helping aspiring musicians. In 2019, the Thinking Out Loud singer launched the Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation to benefit artists aged under 18 with "small but hopefully useful grants". Through his foundation, he also donated £170,000 to his former school Thomas Mills High School in Framlingham. The donations helped the school to purchase items such as MacBooks, cameras and a photography darkroom.

During the pandemic, Ed also backed footballer Marcus Rashford's free school meals campaign and opened his own breakfast club at his Notting Hill restaurant, Bertie Blossoms. He gave out hot breakfasts for anyone who was normally entitled to a free school meal or who was "struggling in these strange times".

We could all be a little more Ed. As he rightly puts it: "The main thing that you have to remember on this journey is, just be nice to everyone and always smile."

See the full Kind List here

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