I’ve just watched Secret Millionaire and learned about Oscar Brogden. The programme wasn’t about him but an altruistic young man who ran a travel agency and wanted to give money to help people. The people the ‘millionaire’ met were desperately in need, as is Oscar. Oscar is a ‘bin man’ who works in Manchester and didn’t like seeing bikes being thrown away. To date he has recycled, repaired (at his own expense) and given away over 3,000 bikes to people and especially children who really really need them. In 2005, he was given a national award for his work in the community and the picture above is of Oscar with said award. He continues to do what he does to this day.
The most incredible thing Oscar! If you read this! (yeah right!) is that I know what it’s like to have nothing and for someone like you to help me. Dad had bowel cancer when we were kids and had many years off work, his employers, ECC as it was called then, kept his job ‘open’ for him when he could return. He union, the TGWU supported us, also the Royal British Legion as dad is an ex serviceman also supported us. They were very lean times and I can remember visitors bringing boxes of food, clothes and bags of coal when things were at their lowest. I never knew who you were, but I will never every forget you or the gratitude I have for you, who ever you were/are. So Oscar, I know the difference it makes to have someone like you in the world.
Several years later, after a lucky escape, my son and I left his dad and we had nothing. I contacted an organisation called ‘SOFA’ ……shifting old furniture around and told them what had happened and they simply asked my address and told me not to worry. When I arrived at the little rented cottage, there was a big van outside and two burly young men waiting to unload it. They brought furniture, cutlery, plates, bedding and everything I needed. It didn’t stop there, they pulled a box of groceries out of the front of the lorry and made sure everything they had brought me was working before they left. I was just stunned.
So again, Oscar, I know the incredible value of what you do. The Secret Millionaire is a wonderful programme, where lives are changed but it reminded me of the significant people, who I never knew, who changed my life. The people who helped me, left me with the lifelong knowledge that the world is full of really good people, that every day has its brightness and anything can be over come.
I know that Oscar Brogden will never read this, but someone who knows him might and I would like him to know, and people like Oscar, who help people when no one else does, that you changed my life and you were a huge part in making me the positive person that I am. Ladies and gentlemen, I raise my tea mug to Oscar and the selfless volunteers who make this world a better place.