MUSIC lovers are being invited to try and win unique pieces of rock & roll memorabilia and tickets while helping frontline NHS workers battling the coronavirus pandemic.

Frank Turner’s guitar, Editors frontman Tom Smith’s boots, a goody bag from The 1975, and a football shirt signed by Groove Armada are among the prizes up for grabs in the Big Band Bus Raffle launched by Begbroke-based Vans for Bands.

The company has loaned its entire fleet of of sleeper coaches to the NHS.

The buses, previously used by stars such as Ricky Gervais, Peter Kay, Will Smith and Paul Weller, have been parked outside hospitals providing spaces for health workers to rest and take stock during their rest break or at the end of each shift.

Read again: Vans for Bands gives NHS medics the rockstar treatment

To help service the luxury vehicles, the company has called in favours from its VIP mates, offering prizes donated by iconic bands and chart-topping artists.

Also on offer are four tickets to see Oxford legends Supergrass, Paul Weller, Craig David and Australian pop band 5SOS; signed posters from Elbow and Blossoms; and one of only 300 ever produced Hyper Deluxe editions of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’s third album End of Suffering – along with a special designer backpack.

Banbury Cake:

Paul Weller

Other prizes include a signed copy of Kate Tempest’s play Wasted; a signed, limited edition Orbital boxset; a signed test pressing of alternative rock band Palace’s second album Life After; vinyls from Portishead and Placebo; and festival tickets to Cornbury, 2000 Trees, Arctangent, Black Deer, Slamdunk and WOMAD.

Frank’s drummer Nigel Powell has also donated a customised 22” kick drum skin – which Frank has offered to sign.

Banbury Cake:

Blossoms with Vans for Bands bus

Buses are being used at The Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, North Tees Hospital in Stockton, and Hillingdon, Whittington and Lewisham hospitals in London.

Read more: Create a piece of lockdown art for the Ashmolean Museum

The fundraiser follows a 10-hour live streamed event called Bus-tival, last month, which brought in cash and further requests for vehicles.

Fans can enter the raffle by visiting vansforbands.co.uk, where they will be able to see a complete list of the prizes on offer and click through to buy tickets.

Frank Turner is a supporter of the project, and has donated his black Epiphone Hummingbird Pro electric-acoustic guitar, which will be signed and made out to the winner.

He said: “I’ve worked with Vans For Bands for over 10 years and have watched the company grow from small beginnings into the major music industry institution it is today.

“Watching them step up to help the NHS during this crisis is not a surprise to me, but it is a wonderful thing that I can whole-heartedly support. Donating an old touring guitar of mine to the raffle was the least I could do to help out.”

Oxford’s charismatic Tarrant Anderson, a partner in Vans for Bands, plays with Frank Turner’s band.

The scheme is also being backed by former doctor and comedy writer Adam Kay. Mr Kay, author of This is Going to Hurt said: “In these bleak days, it’s been truly heartwarming to see such an outpouring of love for the NHS.

“This is a wonderful example of a business stepping up to support frontline staff. I know so many doctors and nurses who have been struggling to find accommodation or somewhere to relax during their shift breaks and this will make a huge difference.”

Banbury Cake:

Frank Turner onstage at Cropredy Festival (Tim Hughes)

Ed Thomson, director and co-owner of Vans For Bands, says: “Despite the fact that the live music industry has been decimated by the effects of social distancing due to Covid-19, we are so pleased to see everyone coming together to offer such exciting raffle prizes and memorabilia.

“A huge thank you to the artists and companies for their generous donations without which this raffle would not be possible.”

Banbury Cake:

Oxford artist Tarrant Anderson

He added: “We are very happy to be able to offer our tour buses to NHS hospitals anywhere in the UK for the duration of the crisis as a place for doctors, nurses and support staff to take a rest or sleep in at the end of or during their extended shifts. We feel it’s only right that we all do everything we can to support our NHS.”

Vans For Bands is among the biggest van and premium sleeper bus operators. It has been used by Alice Cooper, Elbow, Biffy Clyro, Primal Scream, Sam Fender, Libertines, Massive Attack, Leftfield and Blossoms.

  • Raffle tickets are £2 and the draw closes at 6pm on Friday. The winners will be emailed as soon as the draw closes.
  • See vansforbands.co.uk
  • Supporters can also donate via its JustGiving page