Homeless Charity Gives Ed Sheeran Hit Song
Ed Sheeran’s breakthrough hit, “The A Team,” was inspired by his volunteer work at Crisis, a U.K. charity for single homeless people and the 21-year-old made a public service announcement encouraging people to sign a petition for the organizations’ No One Turned Away campaign. In the U.K. can approach local council for help and be turned away to sleep on the streets.
“Anyone who’s in a privileged position should always give back and I happen to be in my privileged position through a song that I wrote, off the back of doing some work for Crisis, so I have to give back double I think,” Sheeran tells Samaritanmag. “I wrote that after the experience at Crisis so I feel like I owe quite a big chunk of my career to that experience.”
Sheeran debut album, +, opened in the U.S. at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and is still top 40. In Canada, it’s top 10 on Canada’s Neilsen Soundscan Top 100 chart. In the UK, where the album was released last year, it sat at No. 1 for three weeks and he was ultimately named British breakthrough act and British solo male artist at the Brit Awards.
On his recent UK tour, Sheeran had Crisis’ campaigners at two shows at London’s Brixton Academy in order to collect signatures and the charity also received donations from people on his tour’s VIP guest list, Crisis press officer Claire Cooper told Samaritanmag by email.
On the charity’s web site, it states, “Our innovative education, employment, housing and wellbeing services address individual needs and help people to transform their lives. We measure our success and can demonstrate tangible results and value for money. We are determined campaigners, working to prevent people from becoming homeless and advocating solutions informed by research and our direct experience.”
One of the unique services Crisis offers is the one that drew in Sheeran — a songwriting group.
“I got involved with Crisis through my friend Cave who’s running events at Crisis,” recounts Sheeran. “He just asked me to come play a show for him and since then I’ve come back and done songwriting workshops and other stuff. You go in and you play songs and speak to them about how to structure and write lyrics. They’re pretty good actually. To be honest, there’s not much to teach.”
* Samaritanmag.com is an online magazine covering the good deeds of individuals, charities and businesses.