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The Repair Cafe is a community service run by members of Cornerstone Church skilled in a range of repairing trades (seamstresses, electricians, bicycle and vehicle mechanics, carpenters and general helpers). Using tools, know-how and searching for new skills online, the repairers work with those visiting the cafe to repair goods that will otherwise be thrown away and become landfill. The Repair Cafe has been running monthly since 2017 and has so far put bikes back on the road, clocks on the wall, white goods in the kitchen and clothes in the wardrobe. As it has become a recognised resource in the community, we are confident that Repair Cafe has a great future and so are keen to boost its resources and appeal. Running as a free service, Repair Cafe accepts donations for labour and materials but regularly foots the bill for all work required.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The project is proving to be so effective in building confidence in those bringing their broken goods, showing them how to repair things themselves and allowing them to learn from those skilled in each area. The positive impact from this is that landfill is being reduced by bringing life back to unwanted goods, and the mindset of those attending Repair Cafe is that of RECYCLING as opposed to REPLACING. Repair Cafe is also becoming a popular community hub due to the cafe element; coffee, cakes and refreshments are on offer while repairs take place, along with a range of activities for children of all ages. We have encountered many families on low incomes who would otherwise struggle to afford repairs having their precious possessions restored to life. In short, Repair Cafe is teaching people not to throw away items that may have years of life left in them, while learning new skills in the process. It is also a treat to experience so many people offering to volunteer for Repair Cafe
Steps to get it done:
About the space
Essex County Council