Charity receives £750 for ‘heap of rust’ van it received on TV show
- Credit: Archant
A charity which had to return the van presented to it on live TV after it turned out to be a “heap of rust” has received £750 in place of the vehicle.
The Worry Tree Cafe in Framlingham had hoped the van donated on Channel Five’s Do The Right Thing would have supported its work helping people with mental health challenges by allowing it to visit schools and rural communities.
Charity founder Millie Corke and colleague Katrina Clarke-Abbott appeared on the show with presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford in January, when they were thrilled to receive the donation from ‘Undercover Millionaire’ Terry George.
But their excitement soon faded when a trip to the local garage revealed a host of problems. Miss Corke’s father, Nick Corke, who also works with the charity, discovered the van was 22 years old, riddled with rust and stood no chance of passing its MOT.
MORE: Van donated to Suffolk charity on live TV was ‘heap of rust’The show’s organisers said in February that Mr George had sourced the van in “good faith” and would be happy to sell the van and donate its costs instead.
Last week, Mr Corke heard the van had been sold – for £750 – and the money was transferred to the charity. “Of course £750 is always appreciated but hardly replaces the vehicle they had led us to believe that we would be getting,” Mr Corke said.
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“The main people missing out in all of this is those with mental health challenges in rural communities who were set to benefit from the new van.”
The charity had planned to use the van as a ‘Worry Wagon’ offering people a space to drop in for a confidential chat. The team still hope to take their services out on the road, but now need to raise around £20,000 for a new van .
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“It’s going to take a long time unless someone else comes up with a big donation,” Mr Corke added.
Miss Corke had said the disappointment of losing out on what first seemed like their dream donation, had hit the charity trustees hard, many of whom have been dealing with their own mental health difficulties. At the time she said it was like “being given the one thing you want most for your birthday but it being broken the next day”.
While Mr Corke acknowledges neither the show nor Mr George set out to donate a “heap of old rust” he has questioned how much attention was made when buying it.
“I’d like to know who on earth picked that van, particularly when I’ve been told £7,500 was spent on it,” he added.
Meanwhile, the charity is continuing its work with regular sessions at Mills Meadow Day Care Centre in Framlingham and Meadow Children’s Centre in Leiston.
Organisations across the country have also approached the charity for help setting up similar initiatives in their area.
The show has not responded to a request for comment.
Visit @TheWorryTreeCafe on Facebook to find out more, including how to donate.