Leeds 'Secret Millionaire' on a mission to help others

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LEEDS businessman Terry George's shift on TV's The Secret Millionaire has clearly given him a taste for the kinder things in life.

Nightclub tycoon Terry donated 35,000 to needy families and a nursing home residents' fund during his appearance on the Channel 4 show in 2007.

Now the 45-year-old has followed up that piece of televised philanthropy by giving 20,000 to Leeds Metropolitan University.

His cash will finance the running of the university's Aspire 2 Achieve programme for the next two years.

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The scheme runs awareness events and study support activities to encourage working-class boys from Leeds to consider going onto higher education.

And Terry, who grew up in a council house in Bramley and left school without any qualifications, is hoping his support will make a big difference to the lives of young people in his home city.

He said: "I never had the opportunity to go to university.

"The Aspire 2 Achieve programme is something I feel passionately about because it raises the aspiration of boys from similar backgrounds to mine and gives them the chance to make the right choices about their future.

"Helping people to realise their full potential is particularly important in today's economic climate, so I'm really looking forward to working with Leeds Met on this project."

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Vicky Hayhurst, head of development and alumni at the university, said: "We are thrilled with the gift we have received from Terry.

"This really will change people's lives and make an impact in the communities where we are trying to raise aspiration and achievement.

"We are very grateful – this is the perfect Christmas present!"

Terry's stable of clubs and bars in the middle of Leeds includes Mission and Fibre.

Worth an estimated 20m, he lives in a luxurious 3.7m hall in a 10-acre deer park near Halifax.

For more details about Aspire 2 Achieve, click on 'study here' on the www.leedsmet.ac.uk website before following the links for 'widening participation' then 'raising aspiration'.

l The Secret Millionaire sees its well-off subjects giving money away to people and groups after spending time undercover in deprived communities to find out who would benefit the most from their help.

During Terry's appearance, he lived in a caravan in Penzance while working for the minimum wage at a nursing home where his duties included washing, shaving, changing and feeding the residents.

HELPING HAND: Ben Wilson, MD at MPM, with Victoria Hopkins, MD at Hopkins Catering. PIC: Tony Johnson

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