Updated: Nov 16
The Wheel, partners and volunteers held the first repair cafe in Merton at Canons House in Mitcham and it was so much fun! There were curious minds, poky tools, big smiles, loud laughs, free teas, coffees, biscuits, cakes, celebratory photos, items repaired, items taken apart but not repaired, aha moments, even fresh green tomatoes from the local vegetable garden! Most important of all, everyone who came left feeling happier than when they arrived. The stunning settings of Canons House, our venue, a grade II listed heritage building, a local gem in the heart of Mitcham definitely played a big role in that. So that's all about the fun we had. Check it out here.
Now to mention some of the impact- we repaired a toaster, sewing machine, mini desk alarm clocks, a black tie dress and a bag purse. In doing so, according to the Restart project's fixometer we avoided 14 kg of waste and 54 kg of CO2e (the same amount of emissions as watching 94 hours of TV). We also gave ideas on how to upcycle a broken chair into a cool looking stool, some DIY pointers to fix headphones and a table lamp! We tried really hard but couldn't fix a petrol powered chain saw, an electric knife and some denim jeans with significant rips- but that's ok because we learnt a lot in the process and would be happy to try again! There is something special about that moment when you figure out the problem, regardless of whether you reach the solution or not.
This is what a repair cafe is all about. If you want to save some money by getting things repaired for free and make new friends in the community, be sure to join the next one register here.
Oh! and if you are a repair enthusiast and would like to help out, please join us! We need many more volunteer repairers. Many of you said you are not a 'professional' or not 'too knowledgeable'- that doesn't matter at all. We just need curious minded tinkerers. If you are still not sure, how about coming along to the next one just to get a feel for it? Speak to the other repairers, get stuck in. We promise you, you will be back!