A team of Bath students has scooped an award for positive impact in the community, after setting up and running a new Repair Cafe on campus in just 7 weeks.
The seven-strong team was one of 14 groups from the University of Bath’s School of Management to take up the Community Challenge set by Community Volunteer Services BANES and sponsored by Bath-based engineering firm Rotork.
They were tasked with supporting local community group Share and Repair by bringing the benefits of its free repair project to younger audiences, saving students money, sharing skills and cutting waste.
The students won the top spot, a week after running their first repair event at the university, where 25 students and staff got electrical items and clothes mended for free.
They also recruited a team to take the project forward, so that more repair events can be run in the future.
Rotork, the global flow control and instrumentation FTSE-250 company, headquartered in Bath, sponsored the event for the second year running.
14 teams of 8 students helped a range of voluntary groups with familiar names such as Dorothy House and Genesis to less well-known names such as MHA Stratton House.
Mike Plows, Manager Community Volunteer Service, said: “Decisions are always tough when the standard is so high, particularly this year when there were 14 highly credible contenders. But this Team stood out”.
A spokesman for Rotork added: “The judges liked the fact that this project was sustainable and the benefits are clear to see. We all need to do more to support the environment.”
Founder of Share and Repair, Lorna Montgomery, said: “We are just thrilled to work with the team who saw the opportunities to help their fellow cash-strapped students get their stuff to last longer, to learn new skills, to give back to the community and to do their bit for the planet.
“We’ve been running our free, community repair events in Bath since 2017, but this was the first held on campus.
“Some of our old hands turned up to lend their support – and it was special to see the generations working together for a common purpose.
“With the backing of the University of Bath, we are hoping to see this become a regular thing.
Share and Repair now run Repair Cafes every Saturday at different venues in and around Bath, as well as running a Library of Things to allow people to borrow rarely-used items rather than buy them, all in effort to reduce carbon emissions and the use of resources.
The team always welcomes new volunteers, items to stock their library and hearing from people interested in setting up a repair café in a new venue.