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Can Les fix it? Yes he can!

The T shirt says it all…That’s what I do. I fix stuff and I know things!

Meet Les Rodgers, the volunteer who might best be described as our very own Mr Fix It.


Les, who is 79 and lives in Eckington, first volunteered at our shop in Crystal Peaks, where he gave his time and enthusiasm for six years.

More recently he has been volunteering at our Donation Centre, the hub for the thousands of donations that are sorted and then sent out for sale at the chain of 14 St Luke’s shops across the city.

He now carries out PAT Testing on electrical donations as they arrive, ensuring they are safe for re-sale.

Over the years, he has tested more than 5,000 items, including everything from a full size pinball machine to sewing machines.

And if anything needs to be repaired before it goes to the shops, Les is the man who has the know-how.

“They’ve found out I’m good at repairs and re-wiring electricals or doing anything like refurbishing pieces of furniture or fixing things,” Les says.

“I really enjoy what I do – I like cleaning things like silver – and its always good when something quite valuable comes through.”

One item he recalls very well goes back to his time at Crystal Peaks and the discovering of what eventually proved to be a genuine ancient Egyptian artefact, a Shabti – a miniature clay figure placed in a tomb - dating back to the days of the pharaohs.

“I remember we took it to the museum and they confirmed it was the real thing,” Les says.

“it’s amazing because we never found out how it came to be in a bag on donations at our Crystal Peaks shop.”

More than the challenge of discovering rare items or getting the broken fixed and ready for sale, though, Les says that the thing he appreciates the most is what volunteering has given to him personally.

“It keeps my brain active and it gives me something to look forward to every week,” he says.

“I am always very curious and I find most things interesting so there’s always something to keep me active here and it is definitely rewarding.

“St Luke’s is an amazing place and you know you’re doing some good too and providing vale for the hospice.

“And then there are the people I’m volunteering with – I’ve made some very good friends at St Luke’s.”

St Luke’s is part of the 2024 Big Help Out, the national campaign to get more people volunteering.

Even though the Big Help Out runs from just June 7 to 9, we are using that weekend as a launchpad for a full month of promoting the many volunteering opportunities that are available across the charity.

To find out more about St Luke’s volunteering opportunities and how to get involved visit volunteer.

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