Repair Cafe drop-in gives new lease of life to worn items

WORN or broken items were given a new lease of life at the first pop-up Repair Cafe in the Guille-Alles Library.

Organised by the Clean Earth Trust, sustainable projects lead Camilla Smillie said several people had come in within the first half hour, with more expected.

Experienced volunteers Ben Wells, Emily Gabb, Sarah Foulloutas, Stef Bampton, and Hazel Solway were on hand to mend clothing, textiles, small household goods and electrical items.

Tim R Langlois brought in his angle-poise lamp with a faulty arm.

Hobbyist Ben Wells checks over some circuitry. (29118826)

‘I knew it was a mechanical problem, rather than an electrical, and thought it wouldn’t be too tricky to fix,’ Mr Langlois said.

‘Because it is sprung with tension it would be fiddly, so coming here was ideal.’

Islanders could book a repair, have something fixed, ask for advice or learn about the trust.

Repair Cafes fill in a gap by teaching sustainable skills and repair culture, which helps to avoid fixable items going to landfill, said Mrs Smillie.

‘Our vision is for this to be a sociable, friendly place where people can bring their things to be repaired or ask for advice on how to fix things,’ she said.

‘People can bring in a photo and ask volunteers for help, or if they know what that little replacement part is called. Booking is really helpful to know what people are bringing in, so if they need a denim patch, say, we could bring one to use when they’re here.’

Seamstress Emily Gabb. (29118828)

Repair Cafes are regularly held at the Smith Street Health Connections shop, with a permanent residence sought after to offer a broader scope of repairs.

Volunteers and donations of good quality tools, fabric and equipment are welcome.

‘We’re always interested in finding volunteers to help, who are skilled or have a mentality on finding out how to fix something. Eventually it would be great to build a directory of repairers, detailing what professionals can fix what.’

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