Parcel2Go founder Fil Adams-Mercer last night (Monday, March 22) became the latest successful entrepreneur to star in Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire.
Fil agreed to live undercover and survive on the Job Seeker’s Allowance and was forced to reassess his views on the unemployed.
He also experienced at first hand the incredible work of a range of charities which provided support for cancer sufferers, the disadvantaged trying to find work and an organisation recycling and distributing unwanted furniture.
Fil, who founded Bolton-based Parcel2Go and which now has a turnover of more than £11million, was sent to live in Doncaster for the week.
Apart from surviving on the Job Seeker’s Allowance, Fil was forced to live in a damp, cold house with no television and only a small electric heater to keep him warm.
He went undercover to examine the issues surrounding having to relocate from your home town to another part of the country in order to find work.
Fil said: "Making the programme was a fascinating experience and one which forced me to question some of my views on the subject of unemployment.
"From the moment I arrived at the house with no TV and little or no heating, the whole experience was eye opening. There is no question the programme forced me to face up to some of my long held prejudices regarding the unemployed."
The charities Fil encountered during his time on the programme included the Firefly Club, a cancer awareness and support charity.
Fil, who himself battled back from malignant melanoma a number of years ago, found the work of the charity inspirational and presented the organisation with a cheque for £20,000 to help them buy a desperately needed people carrier.
He also donated £10,000 to the Tricon Foundation, which helps the disadvantaged in South Yorkshire find work and a further £10,000 to Refurnish, a charity which collects, recycles and sells on unwanted furniture. In addition, the charity trains people to become tradesmen.
Fil made two final individual donations of £5,000 each, one to a young café owner and the second to a woman working for Refurnish who had been put into care at the age of five and devotes her life to caring for her 22-year-old autistic son.
Fil said: "I met some wonderful people as a result of the programme and will be staying in touch with many of them. I have already committed to supporting a show the Firefly Club is putting on later this year."
Parcel2Go was founded in 2000 by Fil following the successful sale of a video rental business to Blockbuster. The business was borne out of a magazine distribution interest which operated out of a stairwell of one of the video stores in Bolton.
The company developed an online presence during the first dot.com boom and has since steadily grown to be one of the UK’s leading parcel delivery services.
The company has over 600,000 users and sends over one million parcels each year. Parcel2Go’s relationship with leading courier services provides customers with a cheaper and more flexible service.