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Newspaper article inspires £150,000 charity donation

A weekly newspaper story inspired a businessman to donate £150,000 to a homeless charity for the Channel 4 programme, Secret Millionaire.

In October 2007, Haringey Independent reporter Elizabeth Pears wrote a feature about Caris Haringey, a charity that provides advice and support to homeless people in the borough.

It was read by Kevin Morley, the former managing director of Rover, who was appalled by figures which revealed 5,000 people were living in temporary accommodation.

After being filmed living in a bedsit in Tottenham, the undercover benefactor revealed his true identity before donating £150,000 to Caris towards a permanent building to house homeless families.

In the programme, Mr Morley is shown reading Elizabeth’s original feature as he sat in a Tottenham cafe speaking about his reasons for helping the charity.

The millionaire said: “I had no idea families lived in these conditions and the daily challenges they face.”

Said Elizabeth: “Knowing a story I have written may have helped change someone’s life reinforces my passion for the work us local journalists do. It is issues like poor housing that we should be tackling every day.

“For all its bad press, Haringey is a fantastic borough and I’m pleased TV producers recognised the good work both Caris and the Haringey Play Association do.”

Read Elizabeth’s original story here