Doctorate for the doctor
Caring Times, January 2014
Dr Chai Patel, the chairman of HC-One Care Homes and former ‘Secret Millionaire’ has been awarded an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.
The award came on the same day that his family foundation, the Bright Futures Trust, announced a £10,000 donation to the Gleadless Valley Community Forum (GVCF) Learning Project.
Dr Patel has developed a close relationship with Sheffield since he spent time living in the city and working with a number of local charities and community groups for Channel 4’s Secret Millionaire in 2012. While taking part in the programme he donated more than £100,000 to local community projects.
He was deeply touched by the dedication and hard work of the many people he met and this has fostered an ongoing relationship, particularly with the GVCF. The GVCF Learning Project, to which the most recent donation is being made is designed to find ways of engaging with hard-to-reach 16-24 year olds in South Sheffield communities and aims to inspire them to seek out and act on positive possibilities for their futures.
In addition to his work in Sheffield Dr Patel also dedicates much of his personal time to supporting other important causes, including the veterans’ charity Combat Stress, Duke of Edinburgh Awards and BBC Media Action.
Dr Patel holds a degree in medicine from the University of Southampton and an honorary doctorate from the Open University. He spent five years as a medical doctor in the NHS, going on to become a MRC Research Fellow at Pembroke College, Oxford. He later worked in the City of London before combining his medical and business skills at the health and social care turnaround organisation Court Cavendish. In 2011 he became the chairman of HC-One, the UK’s third largest care home provider, which secured the future for more than 200 former Southern Cross care homes.
“It is a great honour and privilege to receive this degree, from such a dynamic and innovative University, in a beautiful city, with a great History,” said Dr Patel.
“I have been very fortunate to enjoy four different careers and I can honestly say working with some amazing charities here in Sheffield has provided me with some of the most inspirational and rewarding experiences.”