Three Bradford organisations have been handed a share of £153,000 after appearing on Channel 4’s The Secret Millionaire show.
Top poker player Andrew Feldman kept his true identity under cover when he posed as an unemployed person making a documentary about volunteering for young people.
Viewers on Sunday saw the world-famous player give £100,000 to children’s cancer charity Little Heroes, £28,000 to Hidden Homeless helping change the lives of the homeless and £25,000 to Great-Horton based children’s charity The Joshua Project.
Little Heroes was given the second biggest cheque ever in the history of the programme and its founder Colin Nesbitt also got a personal cheque for £5,000 to take six-year-old Rhys Randle, who inspired the charity and for whom he is carer, away on a holiday of the lifetime.
Although Rhys is now in remission from his cancer he is still on medication and needs operations to try and save his failing eyesight.
Rich Jones, who is The Joshua Project’s chief executive, said he was stunned and incredibly emotional after he discovered the millionaire’s real identity.
“We had absolutely no idea. For someone like him to recognise the value of what we do and be so affected by the amazing young people that we work with, is truly wonderful,” he said.
Since filming finished, Mr Feldman has stayed in touch and requested the money be used to restore the former Plaza cinema in Cross Lane where the charity is based.
The third organisation was The Hidden Homeless Ltd social enterprise set up by Gary Staniforth, who in 2008 sat on the steps at City Hall in protest demanding to be rehoused. He is now working to promote positive change about the homeless and producing a Hidden Voices magazine sold in the streets.
His cash will be used to update empty properties and train people living in hostels to get building trade skills.
Mr Staniforth said: “I had no idea until the last moment when those mortal words ‘I’ve not been entirely honest with you’ came out. I knew immediately this was the programme I watch all the time and I was now on it.
“When he handed me the cheque for the company I was speechless, but when he handed me a further cheque for me personally I was in pieces.”