Some of our volunteers

Some of our volunteers

23 May 2019

Repair Cafe off to a flying start.

There was a buzz in the air at Palm House for Repair Cafe on 11 May.  85 items were brought in.  Most were fixed and some would take a little longer to repair or needed extra parts. The repairers were enjoying the challenge. 

A hot tub pump was fixed saving £500 to replace.  The owner popped out to get a seals and sealant needed and it was fixed.  She said “it’s a wonderful idea to be able to repair and re-use rather than be a throwaway society.  It gives you the opportunity to be as green as possible rather than put things in landfill.  With our hot tub we did not know what else to do”.

Repairer fixing a wooden baby walker

This ethos was in the minds of the repairers too.  Phil, a window fitter by trade, had fixed a well loved wooden baby walker.  And was moving on to a wooden push along toy. Both needed new wooden dowels.
Phil said “I enjoy repairing things, I enjoy the challenge.  Saving things from landfill.  Proving things aren’t throwaway.  Lots of these things have sentimental value, they can be kept in the family.  You don’t need to buy a new plastic one”.

Kathleen was sat happily sewing.  She had brought in a leather handbag that had been repaired with a new loop sewn on for the strap and was inspired by the atmosphere, and good lighting,  so picked up a needle and thread and got on with another mending job she had not felt like doing at home.  She has now volunteered to be a repairer.

Liz had been waiting for Repair Cafe to start after she first heard the idea.  She brought a food processor which was found to have blown a circuit board fuse, not the sort that is usually replaceable. The repairer had one at home so will bring it next time.  Liz said “I think it is lovely, what a great atmosphere.  If it was not for repair cafe I would have just binned it”.

A toy Robot brought in to be repaired

“Rolling Olli” a remote control Robot had been gifted to Charles by his granddad.  This Robot was what dreams and Hollywood movies of my youth were made of, before the technology we take for granted today.  Everyone who met Rolling Olli was rooting for it to have a second chance, especially the repairer.  On opening him up and seeing his electronic brain and heart, it became evident one of the cables had a break in it.  It was a long job, without the right cable to hand, but he has promised to have a second go at it next time. Fingers crossed for Olli.  Charles’ Dad Paul said Repair Cafe was “A great idea.  I’ve never seen anything like this before.  It was brilliant – very quick to be served, and well organised”

Other repairs included a Grandmother Clock, bracelet, mobile phone battery replacement, games console, laptop, i-pad, Bike and secateurs sharpened. 

A bag printed "A bag forever"

“A bag forever” lived up to its name. Ruth said “you can’t get this bag anymore. I would not have had the right needle and thread to do it at home. It’s very kind of people to come and give their time like this”.

It was a very productive couple of hours.  Have a look in the back of your cupboards and see if we can bring something back to life. See you next time and spread the word. 8 June at the Palm House 10.30am – 12.30.