Teddy growls again

Amersham’s first ever Pop-up Repair Café will return with seven experts on hand after a highly successful launch.

The Repair Café, held on Saturday 12 February at St Michael’s Church, saw around 50 people receive help to repair items from cuckoo clocks to a youngster’s much loved teddy bear and precious family trowel.

The cuddly bear (pictured), aptly named ‘Teddy’, was brought in by one of the Repair Café’s youngest visitors. His grandma hand made Teddy for his mother so the toy has been cherished by two generations.

Now he is fixed, Teddy is all set for the next generation. Also brought in for repair was a trowel which had belonged to the visitor’s father and had great sentimental value.

Taking a lead from the popular BBC series The Repair Shop, the pop-up Repair Café ran for the first time last weekend. It is a free meeting place that creates a space where people can learn from experts to repair items for themselves.

Locals found tools and materials to help them repair clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, cycles, appliances and toys and the event was well received by all who attended.

Gemma Green, Buckinghamshire Waste Awareness and Education Manager for FCC Environment, the contractor which runs the council’s Household Recycling Centres, said: ‘We throw away vast amounts of stuff, even things with almost nothing wrong 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’

The team successfully repaired and/or gave advice on more than 50 items during the event.

Liam Bould, Regional Development Manager for FCC Environment, said : ‘The repair café project is one which forms part of FCC Environment’s core reuse strategy, targeting prevention – the number one priority in the waste hierarchy.

‘We look forward to hosting many of these events in Buckinghamshire and see real potential with moving items up the waste hierarchy, avoiding carbon along the way.’

Peter Strachan, Buckinghamshire Council’s’ Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment, added: ‘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.’

People who would like to volunteer their time as a repairer at the next event on 12 March event or who would like to visit the next Repair Cafe can contact Gemma.Green@fccenvironment.co.uk for further details.