When it comes to volunteering Ian Ware has built his own little world…tucked inside our Bangor shop.

Ian, now in his 70s, joined the charity after retiring from work in a hospital pathology lab.

Spotting an opportunity, Ian convinced his then managers to fund him to go on a PAT testing course.

PAT testing is where used electrical items that come into the store are checked to ensure they’re safe and working correctly.

Ian, who works alongside fellow volunteer Waynne (corr) Cooper, is now able to breathe new life into old electrical items.

Customers can buy everything from a kettle to a television knowing they are not only buying reliable, safe goods but they’re also helping to recycle otherwise unusable items.

So far, they have completed around 1,600 PAT tests, saving the charity about £2,500. 

Ian even created his own workshop in the basement of the Bangor store, and he and Waynne now ensure televisions are sold with working remotes that include a full set of batteries.

Ian even turns his hand to repairing watches and clocks, and has added a new string to his bow…repairing violins.

He has used his love of the instrument to restringing and replacing bridges of violins which make their way to the shop.

In total, the team has probably refurbished around 400 Quartz watches and clocks and about eight violins and guitars.

Ian said he gets a lot out of his volunteering:

“I do think I am lucky enough to be in my 70s and still fairly active. It’s nice to give something back. You never know when you are going to need help.”

He added: “As a tight-fisted Yorkshireman there’s a great deal of satisfaction to be had seeing something that was scrap and turning it into money.”