Ed Sheeran has donated his one-of-a-kind prototype Equals guitar as the prize in a charity raffle.
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.
Sheeran has now donated it to be raffled by Suffolk-based charity GeeWizz, with funds raised to go towards a music pod and disabled access facilities at a school in his hometown of Framlingham.
The singer-songwriter has pledged to personalise the guitar for the winner of the £5-a-ticket raffle, writing lyrics or their name on it should they wish.
In a video message recorded while holding the guitar, 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!
“Runners-up will get a signed Ipswich Town shirt by me. Good luck and Merry Christmas!”
Lowden has been Sheeran’s guitar-maker for the past six years.
Just 3,000 of the final version of the Equals Edition guitar will be available to buy through Lowden’s global dealer network, and the prototype version is unique.
The instrument is crafted from walnut and spruce trees which have fallen naturally.
Its Equals inlay is in maple, inset into the ebony fingerboard.
There is a butterfly etched into the heel and the album artwork is included within the internal label.
Lowden said: “It has been an absolute pleasure for me, along with my team, to design and make this limited-edition Equals guitar.
“The detail of the album cover design along with the etching of the butterfly on the heel work so well with the other guitar features – especially the figured European walnut and reclaimed spruce used in the soundbox itself.”
Sheeran has 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.
Helen Picton, headteacher of Sir Robert Hitcham’s CEVAP School in Framlingham, said: “We are extremely grateful for the support of the GeeWizz Charity, without which we would not be able to provide such a wonderful music space and disabled facilities for our children.
“We so look forward to seeing and using the fruits of your hard work and efforts.”
GeeWizz founder Gina Long said: “We are so incredibly grateful to Ed for this wonderful donation, it is a true reflection of his generosity towards his local community.
“The prototype guitar is a hugely collectible piece of music memorabilia, a chance for someone to own a piece of history, and the legacy from the guitar will benefit so many children for years to come”.
Any extra funds raised will be distributed by GeeWizz to other projects for learning disabled and neurodivergent children around Suffolk.
The raffle is open from Thursday December 9 until Sunday December 19.
Tickets, costing £5 each, are available at https://www.geewizzcharity.com/