I was super excited to be invited to have a little nosy around the Action Cancer shop in Bangor. Action Cancer shops around the UK have been revamped to look more like boutiques, with cute wallpaper and glossy shelves showing off their best pre-loved collections.


So on a bright, freeeeeezing day, Dan and I grabbed the camera and headed towards the sea. We met Amy, who is part of the NICS Shop Challenge (more on that later) and the shop manager, Lauren, who was uber-bubbly and welcoming. I love it when you can tell someone really loves their job and pours their heart and soul into doing their best at it.


The shop is colourful, filled with second-hand clothing that is well-organised and sorted by a team of wonderful volunteers…a few of these could be found doing some tidying in the back, the sound of their giggles adding to the shop’s already-warm character.


I think charity shop shopping is a great idea. A few reasons…

1. It’s fun. You get to meet cool people and at your leisure search for treasures…there’s no telling what you might find!

2. What you get in a charity shop is unique – you aren’t buying the same stuff everyone is buying on the high street, and you get to put together original outfits no one else will be wearing.

3. You can up-cycle what you find! Clothes, accessories, homeware…cut it, add a trim to it, sprinkle it with some paint…ta-daaa. I’ve particularly enjoyed that as I’ve ‘nested’ in my first home with my husband of 2 months! 🙂

4. It’s cheap! No denying that. And in January of all months, this is most welcome.

5. My last reason is one that is very close to my heart. As the manager of No More Traffik, an anti-trafficking charity, I’m always thinking about how to reduce exploitation in the world. We know that a lot of people are beaten, drugged, forced, enslaved, and mistreated in so many other ways in the clothing industry. What drives this is our demand for more and more and more clothes, at lower and lower and lower prices. So when we shop in charity shops and become a little more creative with our dressing habits, we sent a message to society that we don’t want to become trapped in a culture of MORE! and don’t want to trap others in it, either.


Action Cancer is part of the NICS Shop Challenge, which is happening around the country – civil servants giving their time and energy to highlighting the work of this great charity and raise some much-needed funds. The team working with Bangor’s Action Cancer are particularly fun and creative, and it’s been a real privilege to play a small part in their project! The whole experience inspired me to do a little filming and I put together this wee vlog of our day.

If you’re in the Bangor/Belfast area, I’d looooove for you to check the shop out. I promise you will find something lovely to take home (like the blouse I fell in love with on my visit…did you spot it in the video?) Also, the team are hosting a TABLE QUIZ on Friday 6th Feb at Marine Court Hotel (7pm!) to support the shop – there’ll be an auction, a ballot and there are even rumours of a disco. Then on the 12th of February, the Shop Takeover Day happens and this is when you must absolutely visit: lots of great clothes, nail/hair treats, lots of prizes to be won (Tesco vouchers, beauty salon vouchers, a family photography session, and loads more!) and Amy mentioned the appearance of a couple Frozen characters!


(It would of course be amiss not to mention the fact that the shop just happens to be in one of NI’s prettiest locations…here is a snap to lure you in further. And with that, adios – see you at Action Cancer Bangor!)

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