The Who's Roger Daltrey tours Norwood

By Robyn Rosen, April 22, 2010
Roger Daltrey and Richard Desmond check out the literary stock at Norwood’s Stanmore premises

Roger Daltrey and Richard Desmond check out the literary stock at Norwood’s Stanmore premises

Norwood was number one for rock legend Roger Daltrey when he toured a Stanmore-based service offering employment training and opportunities for adults with learningdifficulties.

The Who singer was joined by fellow musicians Russ Ballard, Nick Newall, Jackie Rawe and Steve Smith and Norwood president Richard Desmond for the formal launch of the RD Crusaders WorkHub.

All are members of Mr Desmond's "supergroup" the RD Crusaders, for which he is the drummer, and the centre was funded by a £1 million donation from concert proceeds.

Guests viewed facilities including a craft studio, computer space and educational garden and met job coaches and service users. Among them was 60-year-old Gregory Portnoi, who was being helped to create a CV.

"I've done work experience, a money course, a gardening project and worked in the charity shop," he said. "I'm very proud of what I'm doing in Norwood, learning new skills for me to get a job."

Daltrey was "very impressed" by what he saw. "I'm very glad the money has been spent well towards this cause. Because of the society we live in today, it's easy to forget these people
but they are human beings and can achieve wonderful things. Everyone is made to feel part of a family, which is great."

Mr Desmond added: "We wanted to do something positive and thought this was the best way forward. It's fantastic. I don't come out enough to see where the money is spent and how it changes lives but when I do I always feel inspired."

Also present was Norwood chief executive Norma Brier, who said: "RD Crusaders put on a fantastic concert and we were so fortunate because we were able to have a chunk of the proceeds.

"What we do is something quite unique. We're providing opportunities for people with learning difficulties to train and to do real jobs in the community."

Last updated: 1:04pm, April 22 2010