Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Jigsaw John completes 665 puzzles

John Slattery, 79, has completed 665 secondhand jigsaws (KSS Air Ambulance)
John Slattery, 79, has completed 665 secondhand jigsaws (KSS Air Ambulance)

Patient John Slattery spends days completing jigsaws to make sure buyers are not missing a crucial piece when they collect a puzzle from his garden shed - a self-created puzzle emporium.

Mr Slattery, a retired farmhand, has painstakingly completed 665 second-hand jigsaws which he then sold to raise funds for Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance.

Larger puzzles can take John four or five days to complete.

The 79-year-old, from Coxheath in Maidstone, first took up the hobby in August 2007 and has now bought a bigger shed to store the jigsaws.

Mr Slattery said: "Everything I sell is donated to the air ambulance and I've been sent puzzles from as far afield as America and Ireland.

"I photograph every one that I've done and there's usually only about one in 10 that aren't complete in which case I throw them away.

"A 1,000-piece jigsaw will take me about four to five days and the biggest I've done is about 3,000 pieces. On average, I make about £350 a year from selling them."

Mr Slattery and his wife Pat have been volunteers for the air ambulance since the helicopter was first launched nearly 25 years ago.

During that time, they have raised £16,185 from selling puzzles, placing and emptying collection tins, selling merchandise at fundraising events and running a bonus ball game.

Michelle Woodland, a ir ambulance community fundraising officer, said: "We are enormously indebted to John and Pat for their incredible hard work over such a long period of time.

"Their puzzle shed is a great example of the many and varied fundraising events that people do for us, which we really do appreciate."

To donate a puzzle to John and Pat, call 01622 745440 or email pat.slattery@talktalk.net.

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