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Dragons' Den star pledges £10k to 'hero' housing activist after emotional LBC interview

7 February 2022, 09:38 | Updated: 7 February 2022, 11:44

Steven Bartlett has promised £10,000 to Kwajo Tweneboa, who campaigns for safe and fair social housing
Steven Bartlett has promised £10,000 to Kwajo Tweneboa, who campaigns for safe and fair social housing. Picture: BBC/ALAMY/LBC

By Daisy Stephens

Dragon's Den investor Steven Bartlett has promised £10,000 to a 'hero' housing campaigner after a heart-wrenching interview with LBC's Camilla Tominey.

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After an interview with Kwajo Tweneboa, who is fighting for justice in the social housing system following his own difficult experiences, Camilla took to Twitter to appeal to Dragons Deborah Meaden, Peter Jones and Steven Bartlett for help.

Earlier, speaking to Camilla on LBC, Kwajo explained how his dad died from cancer while living in dreadful social housing in Mitcham, south London, in a property which did not even include a kitchen or a bathroom.

"Is there anything you can do to help this remarkable young man to help others?" Camilla wrote on Twitter.

"He is currently self-funding his own charitable mission. Please watch!"

Mr Bartlett responded, promising £10,000 as well as recording equipment to help him spread his message, and an offer to mentor him.

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"What an incredible young man leading an important fight to improve Social Housing in the UK," he wrote.

"Here's what I'll do: Donate £10,000 to him so he can carry on his work. Give him the camera equipment he needs to produce more content on this topic. Mentor him in any way I can."

Mr Tweneboa shared his elation at the news on Twitter, writing "If I scream in this underground station I'm in right now" and "I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS".

The campaigner told Camilla his heartbreaking story on Sunday, explaining that he grew up in social housing with his dad, who was suffering from oesophageal cancer after living in dreadful conditions.

"This is all whilst living with disrepair, living with cockroaches, mice, asbestos, damp, mould, not having a bathroom or kitchen," said Mr Tweneboa.

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"He was bed-bound and he was receiving medical treatment in these sorts of conditions and he eventually passed away."

The campaigner said it was those experiences that drove him forward to call for change.

"I believe no one should have to be... going through what we did, and if I can help others avoid that then I want to and that's my motivation," he said.

Reacting to his interview with Camilla, Mr Tweneboa wrote on Twitter: "A year ago I was living in a house not fit for habitation. A year later I’m on LBC discussing how far I’ve been able to come. Truly humbled and determined for change."

He shared what he had seen in social housing, recalling going into a house and lifting up one of the children's beds - and "hundreds of cockroaches came crawling out".

He also said he had seen tenants injured after ceilings partially collapsed, and a tenant was burnt by an exploding central heating pipe.

"This is a national crisis which has been swept under the carpet for many, many years, longer than I've been alive," he said.

"People come to me because they are ignored... and they don't know what else to do."