Teenager Collaborates with Ed Sheeran and Joe Lycett on Charity Paintings

An Essex teenager has created a series of paintings to raise money for a local hospital – with a little help from some very famous faces.

Noah Jones, who has hydrocephalus, epilepsy, and cerebral palsy, has collaborated with chart-topping singer Ed Sheeran, artist Grayson Perry and comedian Joe Lycett to raise money for Colchester Hospital, where Noah receives treatment.

The 15-year-old enjoys painting backgrounds on cardboard at his home in Dedham, and artists from across the world finished the pieces, which are being auctioned. During the coronavirus lockdown, Noah, who goes by his artist nickname Background Bob, was painting on cardboard to pass the time while he could not attend school.

Musician Ed Sheeran also recorded a video message in support of the project, after painting an image over the background that Noah sent to him. In the video, Sheeran said he was happy to take part and sent a video message, adding: “Good luck with everything and I love what you’re doing.”

Work from Noah’s previous projects has already raised £160,000 through auctions and was so popular it was exhibited several times at Firstsite Gallery in Colchester.

The comedian Joe Lycett also contributed a piece to the collection of 260 original works of art, which included paintings finished by artists Shepard Fairey and Sam Fox – the latter better known as Mr Doodle.

Noah’s dad, Nathan Jones said: “It has been truly beautiful watching Noah flourish and smile throughout.”

Nathan posted on Instagram asking people to collaborate with his son and hundreds of artists came forward.

Mr Jones added: “We would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all the fabulous artists involved, there are some stunning pieces of artwork available.

“They have been at the core of making this project the success it has become, and they all have a very special place in our hearts.

“Thank you to all our supporters, followers and the team behind us. Together we can all do great things!”

All funds will go towards the Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity, which will use the money to make improvements to the neo-natal unit.