A father of two suffered two devastating losses and had his world ‘shaken up’ but channelled his efforts it into a positive and set up his own charity shop.

Shams Ahmed, 39, who originally lived in York, lost his mother and wife within nine months of each other.

Shams said: “It was hard, not being able to see my mum or be around her but it was what it was; After my mum passed away, nine months later my wife suddenly died at home, leaving me as a father of two young girls.”

Taking on the responsibility of being a ‘full-time dad’ was hard for Shams as it would be for anyone and after much deliberation, he gave up his job as a professional IT consultant.

“It was a tough choice, but it wasn’t working, and I knew I wanted to be there for my daughters.

Shams set up his charity shop Ark on Batley high street in November and has already managed to wrangle a couple of regular customers.

The charity shop aims to help people suffering with their mental health and the shop is described as a ‘haven’ or ‘safe space’ by Shams.

“I just wanted to provide people with a space where they wouldn’t feel judged, so they can come to my shop have a tea or a coffee and chat with me.

“I’ve had people who have spent over an hour in the store and I’m here to listen because I know things can be really difficult.

“Opening up to the people around you, friends and family can come with extra challenges so I’m glad I’ve opened this shop.

The idea of opening the charity shop came to Shams after jokingly speaking with his family about all the extra things he had at home and not having space for storage.

“It came to me and then I wanted to pursue it, so I kept my eyes out for any retail spaces that were available.

“I love my shop; it’s got a bit of a quirky feel, but I like it.”

Shams’s main priority is bringing up his two daughters and being there for them.

“I’ve always been a present father, my wife and I split it 60/40, with me doing the 60 and her doing the 40.

“It’s working around the extra responsibilities but I know that once I’ve put them to bed and I’m completely shattered and I sit down and work on the shop that it’s the best job in the world.

"The shop is located on Batley's high street and everyone is welcome for a chat and a nosey around the store."