Repair, restore, recycle

TV’s The Repair Shop has inspired thousands to attempt to revive much-loved items in their homes nationwide.

Encouraged by the popular BBC programme, FCC Environment’s first pop-up Repair Café sets up shop on Saturday 12 February. From 10am-1pm there will be a team of volunteer repairers at St Michael’s Church, Amersham, ready to help people fix their things.

The pop-up Repair Café is a free meeting place that creates a space where people can learn from experts to repair items for themselves. They will find tools and materials to help people repair their clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, appliances and toys. Expert volunteers, with repair skills in all kinds of fields, will be on hand to advice and demonstrate.

Gemma Green, Buckinghamshire Waste Awareness & Education Manager for FCC Environment, said: ‘We throw away vast amounts of stuff. Even things with almost nothing wrong, and which could get a new lease on life after a simple repair.

‘Last year alone 1,261 tonnes of electrical items and 749 tonnes of textiles were recycled at Buckinghamshire Household Recycling Centres. Many of these items could have been mended and used again and again.

‘TV shows such as Money for Nothing and The Repair Shop are helping to make repair more popular, which is great as repair doesn’t just save you money – you are also helping to reduce the volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new products.

‘Manufacturing new products – and even recycling old ones – causes CO2 to be released, so you will be helping to reduce emissions, too.’

Peter Strachan, Buckinghamshire Council’s’ Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, said: ‘There is already an established network of repairers across Buckinghamshire such as the seven Repair Cafés, The Men in Sheds and The Repair Barn, who all do brilliant work.

‘FCC Environment’s pop-up repair events will greatly benefit those parts of Buckinghamshire that do not currently have a Repair Café in place, sharing mending skills and making it easier for residents to access repair services across the county.

‘I hope the pop-up Repair Café in Amersham is the first of many.’

James Reseigh, FCC Environment HRC Contract Manager for Buckinghamshire, added: ‘We are grateful to everyone who is giving their time to help fix items and pass on their repair skills as without them the pop-up cafés would not be possible.’

People can visit on the day. They may have to wait to see a repairer but there will be free tea and coffee available throughout the event and free parking at the rear of the building.

For those who would like to volunteer their time as a repairer, contact for further details.