Warwickshire’s first Repair Café launches in Leamington

Resourceful volunteers have set up Warwickshire’s first Repair Café. The initiative is building on the success of an international Repair Café movement, with established bases across the country. The launch session, held at the Sydni Centre in Sydenham on Saturday 7th July, was a huge success. Future sessions will be held from September at the centre on Cottage Square, on the first Saturday of the month from 11am to 2pm. The centre also has an excellent café for drinks and snacks.

Saturday’s café had all the tools, materials and specialist help you would need to repair just about any household or garden item. The mind-boggling array of objects getting a new lease of life included: clothes, toys, a bike, a lawnmower, a guitar, an Xbox and a sewing machine. There were repair stations for sewing, mechanical repairs, electrical repairs, woodwork and furniture repairs. The volunteer repairers have a range of tools and kit, and a wealth of knowledge to get things working again.

The volunteers are also demonstrating that repairing things can be fun and is easier than you think. Visitors with broken gear were helping the specialist to fix their cherished items and learning how to do it themselves in the future therefore helps support people in the community to be more independent. One volunteer said: “I’m here because I relish the challenge of mending things. Repair expertise should be valued and passed on.” The atmosphere was really friendly and there was a buzz of excitement with every successful mend, which helps to create a supportive and friendly community improving the quality of life for all.

The next event will be on Saturday 1st September at the Sydni Centre from 11am. Updates will be posted on the Repair Café Leamington Spa Facebook page.

For more information about wasting less and recycling more, go to warwickshire.gov.uk/householdwaste or follow Warwickshire Recycles on Facebook and Twitter.

This is the first affiliated café in Warwickshire. A start-up guide is available from repaircafe.org/en.