Secret Millionaire’s return

A TV millionaire returned to a former mining community as the latest work to a village centre was unveiled.

Secret Millionaire Carl Hopkins returned to Easington Social Welfare Centre as former secretary Cyril Dunn’s widow, Anne, opened a new lift that will help disabled users reach the upstairs hall and could open up new avenues towards income in the coming years.

The welfare charity in Seaside Lane, Easington Colliery, was helped by Carl when he appeared on Channel 4’s hit show as he gave away £42,000 of his own money to good causes in the former mining community.

The charity has struggled to make ends meet, but Carl’s intervention in 2008 helped the hall to survive.

Carl said: “It is great to come back and see some familiar faces.

“It is amazing to see the work that is being done to this unique and special building.

“But the people who help to run the place make the difference, they are the heart and soul of Easington Welfare.”

Further plans are in place to modernise the centre and the funding that could come will help the charity on their way to better things.

Centre manager Geoff Price added: “We have made significant steps and crossed big boundaries by installing the lift.”