Tim signs up to help homeless
GEORDIE STAR CHARITY’S NEW PATRON
Tim Healy with his good friend Dave Whittaker, who he is holding a charity event for Print Content Editor SIX years ago, Brian Burridge posted an appeal on Facebook asking for blankets to help homeless people on Tyneside – within six months 5,000 people had come forward wanting to help.
Since then Wallsend-based North East Homeless, which Brian founded, has not only helped thousands of desperate and hungry people in the area, but has secured charity status and even a new famous patron in the shape of North East TV legend Tim Healy.
Tim said: “I am truly honored to be helping such a worthy cause, and when I was able to see what NEH was doing to help the homeless then I had no doubt it was the right thing to do.
“I will for sure get involved with them and if my name can help them grow and consequently help those in desperate need I will be more than happy. I already have thoughts on how I will actively help and help the organisation grow.
“We have now entered the period when the going gets a damn sight tougher for many and nothing hits harder than seeing people out on the street.
“We can walk away and pretend we don’t really see some of the unfortunate sights we witness – but as human beings it lodges in our brain and it reverberates. It’s hard to believe that in 2018 the truly awful problem of people being without food and home is growing at such an alarming rate.”
Brian added: “This is a massive breakthrough for North East Homeless, to have Tim Healy join us as a patron. We already have [Viz creator] Simon Donald with us on our journey and now we have Tim we are all ecstatic.
“When I first started with a single social media post six years ago, little did I believe how far we could take this. I learned a few years ago that my late mam had brought myself and brother and sister up through some difficult times.
“We sadly lost our dad early and it was a tough road for mam raising us on very little money via a widow’s pension. I guess this inspired me to help others – particularly when I learned Mam would often go without just so we could eat.”
On the charity’s work, Brian added: “At the minute we hold three outreaches every week of the year, on a Tuesday in Sunderland, and on Thursdays and Sundays in Newcastle. We serve a hot meal, hot drinks, give advice, and compassion.
“We prepare all this from my home in Wallsend, but our plan is to have our own premises, kitchens, showers, along with services that will support street friends in getting a means to an end of living on the streets. We plan to generate an income from businesses renting offices etc from us for meeting space. Highly ambitious but I think we can do it.”
Tim, currently starring in Open All Hours on BBC 1, will be back in Newcastle on Friday, November 16, when he will star in his show to help Newcastle-born actor and close friend Dave Whittaker, who suffered a stroke and now needs constant care. Tim has vowed to help his friend and to give him financial support.
At the charity event in the Blakelaw Social Club in Newcastle, the Geordie legend will be interviewed by BBC Tees radio presenter Paul ‘Goffy’ Gough about his fantastic career and also perform some of his favourite music.
The variety show will also feature Tony Washington, who will perform his Bobby Thompson tribute show. ‘Little Bobby’ is one of Tim’s all-time favourite acts.
“I love helping my lovely pal Dave and I am really looking forward to my planned night in Newcastle, and it will be very special for me,” Tim added.
“It will be great to look back at my career and to perform some of my favorite songs. The Eagles, Neil Diamond and others will be in there – maybe even the theme from Auf Wiedersehen, Pet...!”
Find North East Homeless via Facebook NEH, North East Homeless or Twitter@NEH18oratnortheasthomeless. org.uk
Tickets for An Evening with Tim Healy at Blakelaw Social Club, Newcastle, on Friday, November 16, are £15. Call 0191 242 0226 or visit http://www. WeGotTickets.com/GoffyMedia