A ‘Secret Millionaire’ has slammed ‘mindless’ arsonists who torched the minibus he donated to a Sheffield community.
Dr Chai Patel has also pledged the support of his care home business, HC-One, in fundraising to buy new transport for the Gleadless Valley Community Forum.
Dr Patel, who recently donated £10,000 to the forum to help pay for other projects, said: “Such a mindless act is deeply upsetting.
“What is vital is we come together as a community to make sure the forum’s fantastic work can continue.
“HC-One aims to be the kindest care provider, both in its homes and the community, and we are looking forward to fundraising for such an important cause.”
The £20,000 minibus – donated to the forum as part of the Secret Millionaire TV programme in 2010 when wealthy Dr Patel posed as a doctor in Sheffield ‘to help people at the opposite end of society’ – was set ablaze while it was parked in a care home car park.
Arsonists also targeted three other vehicles in a wrecking spree around the Gleadless Valley area.
Forum bosses feared the loss would leave elderly people, who rely on the bus to get to lunch clubs and other activities, ‘isolated’.
But HC-One care homes Ascot Lodge and The Beeches have now offered to share their minibuses.
Care homes will also hold events and fundraising activities to help the forum.
Steve Rundell, forum chief executive, said: “The reaction has been incredible and touching.
“HC-One’s kindness will have such a massive impact on those we support – the ability to transport people is crucial to our activities.
“Dr Patel has been a strong advocate of our work and his support has again been fantastic.”