A Repair Café has recently opened at Waltham Chase Methodist Church (Hampshire). Three men from the church decided to see what they could do to reduce the amount of broken portable domestic items taken to the local tip and hence landfill. They spoke to Hampshire County Council a few months ago and were awarded a grant to fund the project. An additional benefit was to get men together encouraging wellbeing, reducing depression and discussing health problems men may encounter.
The project started its trial period meetings once a month for several months, before the Grand Opening in February. A shipping container was installed in the church car park and fitted out with work bench and tools. A basement room was allocated in the church. There are now about seven men (attendance is quite casual) coming along to fix things on the first Saturday morning each month, encouraged by the bacon butties and coffee. And there’s also no shortage of items to repair. These have included wooden items, an exercise cycle, guitar case, a computer-printer interface, vacuum cleaners, electric drill, cassette radio and a pair of trousers! Fortunately the team hasengineers qualified to repair these electrical items and test them to the required national standards. Word is spreading and there are now an increasing number of items to repair. An oft heard cry is “Could you just have a look at my broken…?” Possiblywith the words: “I have asked my other half but they haven’t the time to fix it”! Working together as a team it’s been found severalbrains are better than one.
Meon Valley Member of Parliament Mrs Flick Drummond was invited to the Grand Opening and cut the specially made Repair Café cake. Hampshire County Councillors, District Councillors and well wishers also came along. Hampshire County Councillor Rob Humby cut the ceremonial ribbon to declare the Repair Café open. It was great to see everyone pulling together. Most of all it was wonderful to be able to share with others in determining how we all move forward in overcoming these twenty first century challenges.
It’s a good demonstration of how churches and local authorities can enjoy each others’ company and build strong links.
Volunteers are always needed with skills to help repair items such as domestic electrical and mechanical goods, jewellery, leather and even clothing. One lady comes along to assist us. Ladies who wish to offer their skills are of course very welcome.
To contact the Meon Valley Repair Café email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MeonValleyRepairCafe
Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/repaircafemeon/
Repair Café is an international initiative started in Holland (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repair_caf%C3%A9 ) and there are others within Hampshire too.
Meon Valley Methodist Methodist Circuit Steward
Repair Café – Flick Drummond cuts Grand Opening Cake
Repair Café Grand Opening L-R: Mark (“Tizz”), Sam, Neil, Steve, Martin, Eric, Mike
Repair Café – Steve, Neil and Eric with food mixer
Repair Café – Sam Charles, Hants CC Rob Humby cutting ribbon and Mark Tizzard