Secret windfall for city charities

Chai Patel - Secret Millionaire
Chai Patel - Secret Millionaire

Three Sheffield charities are set to receive a boost amounting to tens of thousands of pounds, thanks to a ‘Secret Millionaire’.

The Cathedral Archer Project, Grace Tebbutt House and the Gleadless Valley Community Forum will all benefit from the generosity of Dr Chai Patel.

Dr Patel – a noted doctor and businessman – teamed up with Channel 4 to work undercover in Sheffield as part of its Secret Millionaire TVseries.

And the results of his stay in the city earlier this year will be revealed when the show is aired on Sunday, November 13.

It will coincide with a live screening at Sheffield Cathedral, attended by those involved in making the programme as well as local MPs, elected officials and charity supporters.

This will be followed by a candlelit vigil outside the cathedral. The idea is to raise awareness of the three charities and their work.

Dr Patel said: “It is my hope that when the programme is shown, we will be able to help all the incredible people I met, who make such a difference to people’s lives, to raise awareness of their projects and their fundraising.”

This is the ninth series of the popular Secret Millionaire series in which wealthy benefactors say goodbye to their luxury lifestyles and go undercover in deprived areas to find out who needs their help, then change people’s lives for the better.

Dr Patel was born in Uganda to Indian parents and came to the UK to study medicine at Southampton.

He went on to forge a highly successful career and this year was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the Asian Business Awards.

His commercial roles include chairman of Court Cavendish, which he re-formed following the collapse of Southern Cross Healthcare to manage 249 of their former homes.

The story of his time in Sheffield is being kept under wraps until the show is aired next weekend. But the doctor worked with all three charities – and was impressed with what he found.

He reveals that his favourite memory was of “a young lady, with an extremely difficult life and huge loss of self-esteem, who taught me not only how to skate, but also to trust her not to let me fall.”

Grace Tebbutt House is a hostel set up to offer shelter and support to homeless and abused single women, the Cathedral Archer Project provides medical help and support for homeless and other vulnerable people and Gleadless Valley Community Forum works particularly with elderly people in the neighbourhood.

Anyone wishing to attend the screening or vigil should email or call (0114) 321 2311.