THE REPAIR Cafe in Stratford received a special visitor.
Warwickshire’s Lord Lieutenant Tim Cox popped in to find out how the repair cafe is addressing the cost of living crisis by giving new life to broken items.
This regular monthly event was set up in September by Stratford Town Trust in partnership with local voluntary group Net Zero. The Cafés are held at Foundation House on the first Saturday of every month. It is part of a network around the country pairing volunteers – including repair experts – with people who would like to get items repaired rather than throwing them away. Everyday household items like lamps, toasters, laptops and bicycles are regularly brought in with the aim to get them back out in full working order.
Most items can usually be repaired by volunteer specialists. All electrical items are tested when they arrive and before they leave.
Tim Cox said: “Many people don’t feel confident repairing broken items themselves. The Repair Café helps share repair skills that are being lost, as well as bringing the local community together at a relaxed and enjoyable event. There was a great atmosphere and I very much enjoyed meeting the volunteers as well as the individuals who had brought items to be repaired.”
Warwickshire County Council’s environment spokeswoman Coun Heather Timms said: “The festive season can be costly for our environment, as well as our pockets. Planning what gifts and food we need and buying items with less packaging can reduce the amount we throw away as well as reduce the cost of Christmas. Upcycling items to give as gifts can also help. Initiatives like the Repair Café are wonderful not only for helping us create less waste, but also for bringing people together.”
Sara Aspley, CEO of Stratford Town Trust, added: “Our vision is to create a vibrant and connected community in Stratford and we are proud to be working with local environmental group Net Zero and a team of brilliant volunteers to host this monthly event at our community hub, Foundation House.
“Repairing items reduces the volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new products. It cuts CO2 emissions because manufacturing new products and recycling old ones causes CO2 to be released. More than that though, it’s a place where people can come together and repair broken items, pass on and learn new skills, and have fun.”