Make do - and mend

There is a repair revolution gathering pace in Buckinghamshire, and the county council is encouraging people to take part in the county’s Repair Cafés – and maybe even start one themselves in their local area.

Repair Cafés are free meeting places where people come together to repair things. Visitors bring their broken items from home, and working together with specialists they make repairs, which means that the item continues its useful life rather than becoming part of the vast amount of rubbish our society produces.

And the idea is spreading. There are more than 1,500 Repair Cafés worldwide, and Buckinghamshire is now home to three.

The Marlow Repair Café has been going for over year, Aston Clinton has just recently held its first event and Princes Risborough will be holding its first this February. Buckinghamshire County Council is supporting these volunteer groups and putting the call out for any other groups that want to get started.

Bill Chapple OBE, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Planning & Environment, said: ‘It’s been called the throwaway society – the tendency to simply replace an item with something new when the slightest fault or damage occurs.

‘The old item just becomes waste, even though it could have easily been repaired with a little time and some basic know-how.

‘That’s where the Repair Café comes in. It’s a place where people get together to share practical knowledge, and have fun mending and repairing their things to give them a new lease of life.

‘Repairing has a double environmental benefit – not only does the old item not have to be disposed of as waste, but Earth’s valuable resources don’t have to be used in the manufacture of a replacement.

‘So if you have a broken item, want to volunteer your skills or just want to find out what it’s all about, why not pop along to the next Repair Café near you?’

The next Café sessions in Buckinghamshire are:

  • Marlow (1 February);
  • Aston Clinton (8 February);
  • Princes Risborough (13 February).