The repair café concept began in 2009 in the Netherlands, with the idea of setting up low-key meeting places where neighbours could meet in a relaxed atmosphere to repair their broken items themselves, supported by specialists. The Repair Café Netherlands Foundation was officially set up in March 2010 and since January 2011 the foundation has provided support to groups all over the world to help start their own café. There are currently more than 220 repair cafés in the UK.
Today’s consumer culture means we’re buying and throwing away more things than ever; products are cheap to replace if they break and we’re losing the skills required to fix them. Often goods are being thrown away with very little wrong with them. This throwaway society is causing problems at both ends of the product life-cycle, new products use up valuable materials and resources in production, and the products being thrown away cause a major problem with disposal. Repair cafés aim to reduce waste, maintain and teach repair skills and build a sense of community.
Repair cafés are free, community-centered workshops where people can bring along their items that need fixing, and then work alongside skilled volunteers to repair them. They can also get help upcycling items or modifying things such as clothing. Upon arrival at the repair café, people are directed to appropriate fixing stations with their broken goods where problems are diagnosed, advice is given and repairs completed where feasible.
We will run the café one Saturday a month from 10am to 1.00pm at Andover Mind, Westbrook Close, South Street, Andover, SP10 2BN (opposite the police station). Last repair booked in at 12.30. Please note that we have a temporary change of venue for February and March 2020 and will be operating from the Ugly Duckling pop-up shop in the Chantry Centre.
Homemade cakes and refreshments will be available. The café space creates a sense of community where people of all ages and backgrounds can chat, meet old friends and make new ones. We will charge for refreshments and there will be a donation bucket for repairs to help cover the costs of the repair café. Everyone is welcome.
Do you have a talent for fixing things and have time to spare some weekends? We need volunteers with practical skills to act as fixers, as well as people helping on front of house and with refreshments. Please get in touch if you think you could help with this friendly community-based project.
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