All About Worcester Repair Cafe
Since it started two years ago, hundreds of items have been repaired by the volunteers at Worcester Repair Café. Meeting on the second Saturday of each month, everybody is welcome to bring something along to have it fixed. Rod Howell is one of the organisers and tells us more.
Who organises Repair Café in Worcester?
Repair Cafe Worcester is part of an international network of Repair Cafes; the home organisation is based in Amsterdam. The Worcester group was started up as a partnership project between Transition Worcester and the Duckworth Worcestershire Trust early in 2016. The Repair Cafe Worcester steering committee consists mostly of volunteers and staff from those organisations.
When did it start in Worcester and what have been the highlights since then?
The first Repair Cafe in Worcester was in May 2016; since that time, we have saved almost 500 items from a landfill site.
Milestone moments include an official visit by the Mayor of Worcester in November 2016; in this session we mended several items of his, including two pairs of his trousers. Our busiest Repair Cafe to date was in November 2017 when we had 70 items to repair. In a very busy session like this, there may be a short wait, but it gives our visitors an opportunity to sample our delicious homemade cakes!
What kinds of things can you repair?
We’ll have a look at literally anything that can be carried through the door. Our sewing team can mend clothes and textiles; we’ll fix electrical items, computers, toys, furniture and bric-a-brac. We also sharpen garden tools, such as secateurs, shears and loppers.
Everyone is welcome to come along; we have visitors of all ages and all backgrounds. Families come along too, very often including a child clutching a favourite toy (or toys) to be mended.
Are there any memorable repairs you can tell us about?
We did set the world straight once! Two of our regular visitors brought their globe in through the door. Unfortunately, the globe would not stay with North facing upwards. Fortunately, we managed to fix it, so that North faced up as it should. Many of the best repairs are for young people with broken toys. We’ll never forget how happy one girl was when we sewed the eye back onto her stuffed toy giraffe.
Tell us something about your volunteer repairers…
The whole of Repair Cafe Worcester feels like a community of wonderful, like-minded people. They are people who are happy to give their time and share their skills with each other as well as our visitors. Of course, each repair session relies not just on our talented repairers, but also on the people who greet visitors at reception, serve refreshments and match each visitor to a repairer.
Repair Cafe Worcester takes place at STARS centre on Stanley Road (WR5 1BE) on the second Saturday of every month, between 11am and 2pm. People can find out more on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/repaircafeworcester