Celebrations as Repair Café celebrates first birthday
PUBLISHED: 12:15 24 October 2019
A community initiative set up to reduce the number of items thrown into landfill has celebrated its first birthday.
The Sidmouth Repair Café opened its doors in September 2018 at the youth centre in Manstone Lane and has seen steady growth over the last 12 months.
The September session saw more than 50 people coming through the door, double the number from the same time last year.
Angie Carney, chairman and founder of the Sidmouth Repair Café, said; "The car park was chock-a-block with visitors. It's clear, then, that the service is very much appreciated, with one visitor to last month's session exclaiming: 'How wonderful that we have this in Sidmouth.'"
The first repair café started 10 years ago in Holland as part of a movement to upcycle and repurpose. The idea has been adopted in Sidmouth so residents can come along with much-loved items which are on their last legs to be fixed instead of thrown away.
The sessions are held on the last Saturday of every month.
It is run by a volunteer team who have recruited retired tradesmen, crafters and hobbyists and professionals to carry out the repairs. Since launching in 2018, volunteers' experience has repaired broken toys, tired clothing, laptops, a jammed lawnmower and a broken teapot.
The café's committee said the idea is to complement rather than compete with local businesses.
While waiting, visitors can enjoy refreshments, cake or bacon rolls, and socialise with people they know or meet new people.
The repair café group said electrical repairs are always in great demand and from this month it will ask people to register electric items one at a time. Jenny Ashmore, who greets people as they come to the café, said: "We're a victim of our own success."
The café is on the lookout for another electrical engineer and someone who can work with textiles to join the fixer team.
If you would like to join the team, go to www.facebook.com/sidmouthrepaircafe/ or speak to coordinator Dave Rafferty on 07977 064498.
The next Repair Café will take place on Saturday (October 26) between 10am and 1pm at the youth centre.