Fix it Beat it

Diane Irons

Diane Irons loves sorting out the toys donated to our Market Harborough shop - and she even takes them home for some extra TLC.

Diane Irons, 65, spends a day and a half each week volunteering in the BHF charity shop in Market Harborough, Leicestershire, sorting the donated toys. When she goes home, she takes bags of unsorted toys with her. She washes the toys and dolls, repairing them or making new clothes if necessary, and makes sure that puzzles have all their pieces, games have all the right instructions and there are no parts missing.

Thanks to Diane’s hard work, the toys look their best and bring in as much money as possible. “I love the toys,” she says. “I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing things sold."

Volunteering has become a family affair. Diane’s husband Matthew helps her at home by replacing batteries. He’s also refurbished a donated dolls’ house before it was sold, and restored a pirate ship that had parts missing – he even whittled a new figurehead.

It's the best thing I've ever done. I have made lots of lovely friends

Grandson Charlie, seven, loves Lego and sorts through all the Lego that is donated, making sure no pieces are broken and it’s ready to be sold.

Diane has created a new toy section in the shop, which led to a rise in the number of toys donated, and recruited her sister Debra to help. She now volunteers every week alongside Diane.

Diane started volunteering 11 years ago, after she moved to Market Harborough to be near her daughter. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I have made lots of lovely friends; they are a very nice bunch.”

Read how donations help children like Cordelia get to school, and watch a touching video

Read about Norma, who hasn't let cancer stop her

Read about David, who carries out a whole range of roles in one of our shops

Read how Maddie has found that giving time to the BHF has benefited her too

How you can help

To help us fight back against congenital heart disease, fill a bag with good-quality clothes, shoes, books, handbags, DVDs, CDs, bric-a-brac or children’s toys and bring them to your local BHF shop.

To take advantage of our collection service, call us on 0800 915 7000. For furniture and electrical items, visit our free collection website.

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