Suffolk

Suffolk charity given 'rusty' van on live TV

The rusting van Image copyright The Worry Tree Cafe
Image caption The charity was told it was unlikely the van could pass an MOT

A millionaire has offered to pay for work on a van described as a "rust bucket" given to a charity on live TV.

Managers at The Worry Tree Cafe were delighted when presented with the Worry Wagon - a van to help people discuss mental health issues - on Channel 5 consumer show Do The Right Thing.

But they then found the 22-year-old van needed "serious work" to pass an MOT.

Channel 5 said Terry George, who was on the show as an undercover millionaire, had offered to cover the cost of work.

The Suffolk-based mental health charity, which operates in Framlingham and Leiston, offers somewhere for people suffering from mental health issues to speak to others over tea and biscuits.

Image copyright The Worry Tree Cafe
Image caption Channel 5 said an offer had been made to pay for essential work

Founder Millie Corke, who set up the charity after experiencing her own mental health issues, wanted to get a van to take the cafe on the road.

Her father Nick, chief executive of its parent charity Hour Community, said the production team had spotted their appeal online.

Undercover millionaire Mr George paid for the van as part of the live show, which is hosted by Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, on 6 January.

'Hard to take'

Mr Corke said: "When they called me I thought it could only be good news but when I saw what it was, well I have never seen anything like it.

"It has hit Millie hard. It was something she had never dreamed of before but the disappointment has been hard to take for someone with mental health issues."

Image copyright The Worry Tree Cafe
Image caption The Worry Tree Cafe appeared on Do The Right Thing on Channel 5

He said while they did not want to be ungrateful they did not want a financial "millstone around our necks".

A Channel 5 spokesman said: "The van was sourced and adapted in good faith by Terry George and he has agreed to cover the cost of any essential work plus the advisory work, as necessary so that The Worry Tree team are completely happy with it.

"However, if the Worry Tree Café decides it no longer wants to keep it, Terry is of course willing to donate the cost of the van to the charity."

Mr George has been approached for comment.

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