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Housing

Dragons’ Den star donates £10,000 to ‘incredible’ social housing activist Kwajo Tweneboa

Steven Bartlett also pledged to help the activist with camera equipment and mentoring.

Leading Dragons’ Den investor Steven Bartlett has offered a young campaigner £10,000 to continue his fight for justice in the social housing system.

Kwajo Tweneboa, a self-funded social housing activist, appeared on LBC on Sunday and opened up about the “dreadful conditions” he grew up in while living in social housing. 

After radio host Camilla Tominey appealed to Dragons to help Tweneboa in his work, Bartlett replied, offering the donation as well as camera equipment and mentorship.

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Reacting to the support, Tweneboa told The Big Issue: “I’m so grateful for Steven reaching out. I would’ve never imagined anything like this would happen as a result of my work. I went into campaigning because I care. Care about people and the conditions they are forced to live in and I’m determined to shake up the U.K. Housing system.”

“I’m humbled that Steven has a connection with the work that I do and his mentoring along with everything else will I’m sure help me reach my ultimate goal of permanent change for millions within the Housing system. Truly humbled,” he said.

Tweneboa was raised in social housing with his dad who, while living in dreadful conditions, was suffering from oesophageal cancer. This year he was named as one of The Big Issue’s 100 Changemakers for 2022.

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During his LBC interview Tweneboa described the reality of “living with disrepair, living with cockroaches, mice, asbestos, damp, mould, not having a bathroom or kitchen.”

“I lifted one of the kids’ beds and hundreds of cockroaches came out,” he said.

The activist explained how living through these conditions is what pushed him to fight for change.

“I’m looking forward to meeting you shortly. Keep up the fight!” Bartlett tweeted to Tweneboa after his offer.

Since the interaction, which has seen many more people wanting to donate, Tweneboa has made a Go Fund Me fundraiser to go towards his campaigning efforts. 

“Any donations will go towards my work as a campaigner and building a platform for future change,” he said

It comes after another horrifying expose from Tweneboa last week. He shared a video on Twitter of a flat infested with cockroaches and within days landlord L&Q agreed to rehouse the family.

An L&Q spokesperson told The Big Issue: “The family were moved into temporary accommodation in January. Since then, we have been working closely with them and the heating supplier to ensure we put things right in their current home. 

“Inspections to investigate the issues with the heating system and the resulting damage to the property, including the doors, have already been carried out. A pest control report has now been completed and the infestation will be cleared. Engineers are scheduled to fix the heating system this week, and following this we will carry out any remaining repairs needed. We are also liaising with other residents in the block to carry out inspections of their homes.  

“We apologise unreservedly for the upset and disruption that this has caused.”

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