A MILLIONAIRE philanthropist who plunged millions from the sale of his estate into helping cancer patients has repeated history to help the charity grow.
Brian Burnie sold his Doxford Hall estate in Northumberland back in 2009.
With a spa hotel and impressive gardens, the 12-acre estate sold for millions, which the Mr Burnie used to set up Daft as a Brush.
The cause sees patients picked up from their homes by a chauffeur and a companion who travels with them to the hospital and back again.
And with the need for the charity’s work growing, Mr Burnie is once again using funds from the sale of a property to plough into expanding his vision.
The 68-year-old has recently secured the sale of his home The Manse, a town house in Gosforth, Newcastle, where he lived with wife Shirley, who herself battled breast cancer.
It’s thought that more than £600,000 from the sale of the five-bedroomed home will help pay for a new Daft as a Brush headquarters in the centre of Gosforth.
Talking about the work of the charity and demand for it, Mr Burnie said: “Once you get involved there’s no going back.
“I knew it would be successful, but I wouldn’t have believed it would be as big as it’s become and that’s down to the staff.
“They’ve taken it from being a dream and I’m hoping to make it even more successful when we open the new centre.” Mr Burnie plans to increase the charity’s fleet of people carriers from 13 to 25, allowing it to cater for more patients across the region.
This year alone it made 4,000 journeys helping cancer patients across the North get to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
Every penny is poured into the growing charity, with Mr Burnie opting to use his pensioners’ bus pass over owning a car.
If all goes to plan, the former hall owner hopes to see his dream become a national charity.
He added: “Daft as a Brush is doing what it can in the North but I’d love to think that within two or three years it will be much bigger.”
To find out more about the charity, visit www.daftasabrush.org.uk