Secret Millionaire given a glimpse of Brighton and Hove

Posted On 15 Nov 2010 at 1:13 pm

Four grassroots community projects were featured in a Channel 4 television programme last night.

The makers of Secret Millionaire came to Brighton and Hove with Bradley Reback, 46, a Sussex University graduate and wealthy owner of a care home business.

He came back to the area and posed as homeless for a week, living in a camper van on Hove seafront.

Mr Reback was given a glimpse of the day to day realities of frontline local charities.

The Spearhead

Those that he visited included the Towner Club, Safe and Sorted, the Brighton Unemployed Centre Families Project and the Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project.

The Alzheimer’s Society – which runs the Towner Club with Sussex Partnership NHS Trust – said: “Christmas came early for people with dementia in Brighton when Secret Millionaire visited.”

It described the club as a vital day care service supporting younger people with Alzheimer’s disease – those under 65.

Mr Reback chose to volunteer at the club and was so impressed that he donated £12,500.

Grahame Brown who has dementia said: “We’re really grateful to Bradley.

“It was great to meet him and since then Bradley and I have stayed in contact.

“Thanks to his donation we will now be able to go out a bit more as a club.

“If the club wasn’t here there wouldn’t be anywhere for us.

“It’s a meeting group, you make friends and have a laugh.”

Elisa Vaughan, the Alzheimer’s Society’s locality manager for Sussex, said: “The visit from Bradley truly was a gift.

“The club relies on vital donations to offer a service that transforms the lives of people with dementia.

“The group has already been able to go on a number of outings and everyone is very excited about their going to the pantomime just before Christmas.

“I would like to take this opportunity again to thank Bradley for his support.”

Sofia Ivarsson, professional lead occupational therapist at Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, said: “It’s a really exciting moment for everyone in involved, for people who use the services including staff who support the Towner Club.

“Bradley’s donation and participation in the programme will support the club members and do a huge amount to help the public understand more about dementia, and how people and their carers cope with the condition – and especially raise awareness of those who get diagnosed at an earlier age.

“Sussex Partnership is extremely proud to have been able to support the Towner Club in what is an exciting time for everyone involved.”

The programme can be seen at http://bit.ly/cq5d2o.

  1. Jackie Corbett Reply

    I was so sorry to learn that the Moulsecoomb Wildlife Garden Project workroom has been burnt down. Warren who runs this fantastic garden ( a very modest word for this huge area) is a skillful, extremely talented man who runs this project on a very basic wage. He has involved local Moulsecoomb Primary school children in helping with the veg and fruit plots as well as other groups with coppicing and has also supported young people involved in the Prince’s Trust. . Other groups that visit include people of all ages with learning disabilities from young to old age including people with mental health difficulties ensuring they enjoy the fresh air and outdoor life as well as involvement in gardening if they wish.

    I was involved in supporting a small group of young people with learning difficulties once a week from a special school with Warren.He expects politeness, curtesy and respect from everyone and provides outdoor knowledge of gardening, planting etc together with a good time around the fire with a cuppa in your hand, once the work has been done. The benefits that these children gained from the consistent support, kindness and outdoor activities from Warren cannot be measured.I am sure that they will always remember their time with him.

    The now burnt out workroom provided respite from the weather and teaching space for projects. Many people, often from the vulnerable backgrounds, will be affected from the loss of this room in this oasis of a garden, amongst the city. I am sorry that many will have had their wood projects that were for family Xmas presents burnt in the fire-they are of course irreplaceable.Much time and effort must have gone into these projects.

    If anyone can offer help him in any way, with money or being able to provide goods or time etc please look at his website and contact Warren at http://www.seedybusiness.org. He needs our help desperately now to get something up as the winter is coming in.

    The garden is a testiment to his devotion to the outdoor life and commitment to supporting such a wide range of people of all ages and abilities in Brighton & Hove. Shame on those that did this.

    Jackie Corbett

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