Little Urban Achievers

Scotswood Walk, Northumberland Park, N17 from Nicobobinus photostream, under creative commons. Click pic for photostream.

Scotswood Walk, Northumberland Park, N17 from Nicobobinus' photostream, under creative commons. Click pic for photostream.

I have mixed feelings about programmes like Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire. On the one hand, it’s a heavy handed, very Channel 4 endeavour with little regard for the wider problems endemic to the featured poverty-stricken locale. It picks out one or two good eggs in a sea of other issues and throws vast quantities of money at these individuals, in the hope that that’ll make a difference.

I’Such was seemingly the case in last night’s first of the new series – I was interested to watch because the location was Northumberland Park, my friendly neighbourhood sink estate the other side of the Spurs ground from here. Kevin Morley, motoring mult-I-mill-i-ON-aire descended onto the estate to look for worthy causes. He left having donated £75k to a couple who run a play scheme on the estate, £10k to a single dad to kit out his house for his kids, and £150k for a deposit on a home for emergency accommodation run by Caris.

These are all eminently worthy causes, and they all deserve funding. That the programme is patronising in the extreme jars somewhat, but sometimes one has to put these things out of the way. Yes, there’s a ton of other causes that could have done with the support had Morley dug a little deeper. But some worthy beneficiaries have been found, and good for them. It’s all a little uncomfortable and weird, but in some cases: never mind.

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