Ayr MSP Siobhian Brown paid a visit to the Community Gift Exchange (CGX) in Ayr to tour their facilities and see the work that goes on behind the scenes of their two shops on High Street.

The Community Gift Exchange is unique for a charity shop in that it accepts donations of used electronics.

It can do this due to the highly skilled volunteers who fix up the older electronics and carry out PAT tests to ensure everything is safe to resell.

The CGX also has an extensive workshop of volunteers who repair and restore chairs and cabinets. Volunteering with the CGX allows people to learn new and transferable skills.

The Ayr MSP’s tour finished with a visit to their bike repair shop. The organisation run a scheme with local schools to provide bikes to pupils.

This is funded through money from the Scottish Government and South Ayrshire Council.

Mrs Brown was given a tour of the workshop where staff and volunteers fix up the bikes ready to be given to school children or sold in their shop.

She said: “It was wonderful to meet with Al from the Community Gift Exchange to hear about the fantastic work that he and his volunteers are doing within the community.

"It was also good to speak to some of the volunteers personally to hear how working with CGX has enhanced their skillset.

“There is an ongoing appeal by CGX for donations of children’s bikes for those aged from 7-11 years old.

"This is to help with their bikes for school children initiative, backed by the Scottish Government.

"If anyone is clearing out their garage and has any old children’s bikes, please donate to CGX at their shop at 88 High Street.”

Al Priestnall from the Community Gift Exchange said: "Community Gift Exchange is all about helping to grow flourishing community in Ayr through working together to reuse our pre-loved household goods.

"Having visited our first workshop in the Kyle Centre, our staff and volunteers were pleased to show Siobhian our two High Street shops and the bike, electrical appliance, and furniture restoration workshops in which we test, repair and clean everything before putting them into the shops for sale.

"In five years, we have channelled over £500,000 in wages to over 40 local people with recognised barriers to employment, saved local people half a million pounds through buying second-hand goods, and diverted over 250,000 kg of reusable items from landfill.

"If you enjoy repairing or sorting things, are seeking interesting work experience, or want to contribute further to the wellbeing of local people and our planet then you're very welcome to come and share the gifts of your time and skills at Community Gift Exchange.”

The CGX currently has an ongoing appeal for donations of bikes for children aged 7 to 11 years old.