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“I saw something magical happen”

26 March 2013

Papworth Trust is the latest charity to receive a £2 million boost through The Secret Millions television programme, a partnership between the Big Lottery Fund and Channel 4. Here Jimmy Doherty, the celebrity farmer who fronted Papworth’s episode, tells us about his experience working with the charity and the families involved.

I always wanted a magic wand when I was a kid. How amazing would that have been?

While I’m still searching for one, there’s a charity I’ve worked with called Papworth Trust who have found the next best thing.

Jimmy Doherty pictured with Lucy, Sophie and Luke

Jimmy Doherty pictured with Lucy, Sophie and Luke

Chickens and pigs aren’t exactly magic. But the difference they made for three people who visited me at Jimmy’s Farm was just incredible!

Lucy, Sophie and Luke do some brilliant things when they’re with Papworth Trust. They’re great guys. But sadly, sometimes people just see their disability and what they can’t do.

I always take people at face value. So when I invited the three down to my farm, with their families for a week, I assumed that Lucy, Sophie and Luke could do everything everyone else can do.

I’ll let you into a little secret. They were a little bit scared of the chickens and pigs when they first saw them. But I saw something magical happen in just a week. Their nerves were blown away in all the fresh air. Within a few days down on the farm, they were collecting eggs (and stroking the chickens) and feeding the pigs like they’d be doing it all their lives.

I’m really proud of the great food that we produce at the farm. But that week, I also saw what difference the animals can make. Lucy, Sophie and Luke just came alive with the chickens and pigs. And they made some cracking caramel and salt ice cream too.

I love the countryside. But I couldn’t believe the difference one week on a farm could make to the three young people and their families. They were quite simply transformed. None of this would have happened without Papworth Trust – it’s such a great charity.

The best news is that thanks to the Big Lottery Fund, what happened with these families at my farm is going to happen every year at Papworth Trust’s Kerry Farm in Wales. I can’t wait for my invite! Maybe I’ll see you there.

If you missed the first two episodes of The Secret Millions you can still catch up with them on Channel Four’s 4oD service. What do you think of Jimmy’s blog? Leave your comments below or join the conversation on Twitter using #secretmillions

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 4 April 2013 2:46 pm

    I think its a really great way of spending lottery earnings and much better than giving it to one winner who won’t know what to do with so much money!

    • Big Lottery Fund permalink*
      4 April 2013 2:56 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Maria! We hope you’ve been enjoying the Secret Millions series so far. Episode three is on this coming Sunday at 8pm on Channel 4. Be sure to tune in!

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