Brain injury led to career at charity

Eastwood Headway charity shop fun day. Headway volunteers.
Eastwood Headway charity shop fun day. Headway volunteers.

Martin Hales is the assistant manager at the Headway charity shop in Eastwood.

Two years ago he decided he wanted to work for a charity after suffering a brain injury himself, and realising how vital they were.

“I wasn’t well myself and afterwards I decided I wanted to look for a charity to work for.

“I had a brain tumour and had radiotherapy and I just found that when you’re back on your feet there’s nobody there for you other than charities,” he said.

“There’s nowhere to get help.”

Martin’s tumour gave him a defect in his left eye, and he sought help from the charity Mysight, who he said were very helpful.

“I find it’s worthwhile what I’m doing and I find it very rewarding,” he said.

“I know without the charities a lot of people would suffer.

“So I know when I do a days work it’s going to a good cause and it’s helping people.

“It’s great working here. I wanted to work for a charity and I enjoy everything about it,” he proudly added.

Martin, from Nuthall, has worked at Headway on Nottingham Road for two years.

He works alongside manager Sharon Lyons, and 12 part time shop volunteers.

Staff take all sorts of donations from furniture to clothes.

“We get a good variety. We never know what’s coming through the door next,” he said. “Sometimes you open a bag and you don’t know what’s in it until the person goes.

“We sell furniture, bric a brac, DVDs, jewellery, electricals, and clothing.

“We only take furniture with fire labels and the appropriate labels are always on the electrical items we take in, but we PAT test them all anyway.”

Martin said the strangest donation he has ever had was a pair of skis, but they didn’t sell.

“Things that don’t sell get sent on to other branches where they are mostly likely to go,” he said.

Martin, 57, said when donations are taken from members of the public, they are taken to the ‘sorting room’ at the back of the shop.

“We process it, check it, make sure all the clothing garments are in good condition.

“We have a sorting room out the back. We go through it every day and put out what we can.

“We steam all the clothes to give them a clean and get the creases out before we put them out, and we go through everything else to make sure it’s not broken.”

The Headway shop has been in its current location for six years, and was previously further down Nottingham Road.

Martin, who previously worked in the furniture trade, said business was doing well.

“There are a lot of other charity shops in Eastwood but we get on with it and we seem to do well,” he said.

“We open every day and we seem to have a lot of customers come in.

“We are still going so things can’t be bad.”

The assistant manager said they were “always grateful for both donations and people volunteering”.

Anybody interested in working at the shop should call 01773 763 456.