Ed Sheeran donated £10,000 to the hospital that took care of his grandmother in the final weeks of her life.
The 29-year-old generously donated the money to Aldeburgh Hospital to fund new outdoor musical equipment for the hospital’s sensory garden, which is to be used by dementia patients and those with special needs.
The money came from Ed’s charity The Framlingham Foundation, which the Thinking Out Loud singer set up with £500,000 to help good causes in his home county of Suffolk, as well as his old school.
An annual report filed by the charity read: ‘A donation to Aldeburgh Hospital League of Friends “Sensory Garden Project” was given to assist with the purchase of outdoor musical instruments for the rehabilitation and recuperation of patients.
‘Such patients include day centre clients, dementia patients and those with special needs and sensory disabilities in the community.’
The garden was built at the hospital in 2018, with the donation revealed in 2019’s documents.
At the time, team leader Anne Parsons said that the instruments – a xylophone, drums and tubular bells – had been donated by an anonymous individual, and told Percussion Play: ‘I wanted to include outdoor musical instruments in the garden for dementia patients and those with sensory impairments to use for music therapy sessions. In addition, local school children will be able to access the instruments for their music lessons.’
Ed was close with his grandmother and in a tribute to the NHS penned for Adam Kay’s book Dear NHS: 100 Stories to Say Thank You, the star revealed that he is still friends with those who cared for her at Aldeburgh Hospital.
He wrote: ‘I was lucky enough not to be on tour during my grandmother’s final months, and because I lived locally I was able to visit her every few day.
‘The care she received was incredible; the people who worked there so lovely, compassionate, funny and caring.
‘When she passed away I wrote a song called Supermarket Flowers about the situation. The verse lyrics are about packing up her room at that hospital.
‘Me and my family became very close to the nurses who worked there and my mum is still in touch with them now. I see them from time to time when I’m in the area and it’s like meeting old friends.’
Ed credits his grandma with inspiring him and his brother Matthew to pursue careers in music; Matthew went on to become a classical composer.
In 2019, the star also donated £10,000 to the Sir Richard Hitcham Project, to pay for a primary music teacher to undertake a specialist teaching course in the Kodaly learning method.
This is in addition to the hundreds of thousands that Ed donated to local causes during the coronavirus pandemic.
Like many other musicians, the Grammy Award-winner, who has an estimated net worth of £200 million, has been at home for most of 2020, but he has more of a reason to clear his schedule.
In August, Ed’s wife Cherry Seaborn gave birth to their first child, a daughter named Lyra Antarctica.
He confirmed the news on Instagram, writing: ‘Last week, with the help of an amazing delivery team, Cherry gave birth to our beautiful and healthy daughter – Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran. We are completely in love with her. Both mum and baby are doing amazing and we are on cloud nine over here.’
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