A TYCOON who saw first-hand the plight of disadvantaged groups in east Durham will officially open a centre which supports thousands of carers and their families.
Leeds-based Carl Hopkins, who appeared on Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire programme when the show featured Easington in 2008, has been invited to open the new Easington Carers Support Centre.
Mr Hopkins, along with Sunderland Football Club legend John Kay, will launch the service on Monday, August 22 at the carer group’s base in Upper Yoden Way, in Peterlee town centre.
The support centre aims to raise awareness of around 16,000 unpaid carers in east Durham, which represents one of the highest numbers in the country.
Mr Hopkins followed the organisation when he appeared on the TV programme and was humbled by the work unpaid carers have to undertake.
He kindly donated some money to fund one of the centre’s support groups and also donated cash to send a carer and his three children, two of whom are disabled, on holiday.
He also paid for a Sunderland Football Club season ticket for the carer.
Mr Hopkins said: “I was delighted to be asked to open the new carer support centre in Peterlee as unpaid carers in society do not get the recognition they deserve.
“Easington District Carer Support Team works tirelessly to raise awareness and support those who look after someone else at home.
“I have great admiration for the work they do.”
Carole Williams, from Easington Carers, said: “The centre is delighted to have Carl Hopkins of Secret Millionaire fame and John Kay at the opening.
“It is going to be a great day for the whole family and a great opportunity to create awareness for the centre.”
The launch will be taking place from 11am–3pm in the town centre and will feature a range of stalls selling old-fashioned sweets, cup cakes, plants and crafts.
There will also be a bouncy assault course for youngsters to play on and a percentage of proceeds from the day will be donated to the carers group.
For more information on the support centre, call (0191) 5869134.