AN EIGHTY-year-old who has been volunteering at a Penarth shop for 10 years is encouraging others to give their time to charity.

Keith Howells, is a regular volunteer at the Oxfam charity shop in Windsor Road, Penarth.

The 80-year-old, who started volunteering after his wife died, said he enjoys his role.

Mr Howells said: “I’ve been volunteering here every week for 10 years. I’m normally in on a Friday but I will sometimes step in if someone else can’t make it on a Tuesday or a Thursday.

“When my wife passed away I decided I needed to do something for myself, so I thought I’d start volunteering and Oxfam was my first choice because I’ve been supporting the cause for years, especially things like Fair Trade.

"I used to do a lot of work on Fair Trade when I worked as a teacher for deaf children. I’d often take them in to supermarkets to teach them about recycling and about plastic and so on.

“That was back in the 80s. So Oxfam was the only choice for me when I decided to volunteer.”

Mr Howells said his favourite thing about volunteering is being able to meet new people and have a chat.

“My favourite thing to do in the shop is be on the till so I can chat to the customers, that’s where my personality comes out,” Mr Howells said.

“I like to chat to them about the book they’re buying, and I have all sorts of conversations with the customers.

“It lifts my spirit to volunteer here. I’ve met so many people here, I know all the regulars.

“I feel like I give back to society by volunteering here. I mean I get a lot out of it but I feel like I give back too and take pride in the fact that the shop is so successful.”

Mr Howells is now encouraging people to take help out and volunteer in local charity shops such as Oxfam.

“If there is anyone out there who is thinking of volunteering I would say come in and give it a try,” he said.

“See how you like it. You’ll make so many friends.”

When asked if he thinks his work at the shop has helped others, the 80-year-old said: “I like to think so.

“When I used to work in the school I used to try to get the children thinking about their neighbours, their neighbours next door on the street in Wales, and the neighbours on the other side of the world.

“I’m also a member of the Penarth and District Lesotho trust. I’ve been to Lesotho too. And as a Christian I’m interested in the idea of missionaries who travelled around the globe.”

For information about Oxfam, visit