Ed Sheeran is giving away nearly £1 million to help children learn music.
The 31-year-old singer has donated almost £500,000 over the past five years via his Framlingham Foundation Trust, and the charitable initiative - which trades under the name Ed Sheeran Suffolk Music Foundation, or ESSMF - has a similar sum earmarked for youngsters looking for funding for instruments, concerts, and rehearsal spaces, accounts have shown.
A source told the Sunday Mirror newspaper: “Ed has never forgotten his struggle to reach the top and the impact music made on his life. It is fantastic he’s helping in this way.”
Ed's funding has also paid for equipment in the music department of his and wife Cherry's old school, Thomas Mills School in Framlingham, Suffolk, with the establishment receiving £30,000 for the purpose.
The school's director of music, Richard Hanley, praised the support of the 'Lego House' hitmaker.
He said: “At a time when music and the arts are under pressure and under threat in schools, it is so comforting to know students at this school have a source of support that enables access and equality of opportunity to all.
“It sends a clear message that music and the arts are an essential element of broad and balanced education as well as being an essential part of the human experience.”
Another school in the 'Shape of You' singer's home town, St. Michael's, received £17,000 as part of an educational scheme with after-school singing and dancing.
Ed said: “The reason I’m doing it in Suffolk is [because] it’s the area I grew up, I still live here and I learnt how to play music here and I feel like I’ve had a lot of support from the area and I feel like I wanna give some support back.”
The 'Castle on the Hill' hitmaker - who has daughter Lyra, two, and six-month-old son Jupiter with Cherry - has previously admitted he'd rather give away his cast fortune to help people than keep it to himself.
He said: “It’s like ‘earn a penny, spend a penny’ with me. As soon as it comes in, it goes out. I don’t have much value on it. […] I have more value on my friends and family being OK.”