Tim signs up to help home­less

GE­ORDIE STAR CHAR­ITY’S NEW PA­TRON

Sunday Sun - - News - By Dar­ren Kelso dar­ren.kelso@reach­plc.com

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

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