A group of local people are organising the first Repair Café in Bath tomorrow, Saturday 22nd April, from 10am – 2pm, for residents to take along their broken home items for the chance of a free repair.
Taking place at St Luke’s Church Centre on Wellsway, everything will be centreing on making repairs.
Starting from 10am and ending at 2pm, around 14 volunteer repair experts will be available to help make all possible repairs free of charge.
Tools and materials will also be on hand. People visiting the Repair Café are able to bring along their broken items from home, including: clothes, lamps, hair dryers, clothes, bikes, toys, crockery, garden tools. Anything that is broken is welcome and can more than likely be repaired. The Repair Café specialists almost always have the know-how.
By promoting repairs, Bath Repair Café wants to help reduce mountains of waste. This is absolutely necessary, according to organiser Lorna Montgomery. She said: “We throw away piles of stuff in the UK, even things which practically have nothing wrong with them, and which could easily be used again after a simple repair.
“Unfortunately, many people have forgotten that things can be repaired or they find it’s too expensive through a retailer. Repair Café wants to change all that.”
The Repair Café is also a means to put neighbours in touch with each other in a new way, and realise that a lot of know-how and practical skills can be found close to home.
Lorna added: “If you repair a bike, a CD player or a pair of trousers together with a previously unfamiliar neighbour, you look at that person in a different light the next time you run into them on the street.
“Jointly making repairs can lead to building contacts and friendships in the community. Also by sitting alongside the repair makes people realise how simple some repairs are and empowers them.
“I took my broken portable charger to the Bristol Repair Café and the mender said the problem was getting into the sealed plastic outer, however once it was prised open he soldered the USB ports back and – it worked again, how exciting and satisfying it was.”
Lorna points out that repairs can save money and resources, and can help minimise CO2 emissions, “But above all, Repair Café just wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is.”
The Repair Café concept arose in the Netherlands, in 2009, and was formulated by Martine Postma, at the time an Amsterdam-based journalist/publicist. In 2010, she started the Repair Café Foundation. This foundation provides support to local groups around the world wishing to start their own Repair Café.
The foundation also supports the Repair Café in Bath. The group of local people, including representatives from BANES Recycling department, hope to organise a Repair Café on a regular basis at least every month then hopefully twice a month.
The next repair café will be at Southdown Methodist Church Centre on 20th May and then at Timebank in Twerton on 3rd June. For more information about being a volunteer or bringing items to be mended, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.