Repair cafés are becoming a regular fixture at Rose Hill Community Centre in Oxford, thanks to a collaboration between Community Action Group Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon and staff at the community centre.
The repair cafes have been developing since last autumn. First, volunteer “fixers” were recruited, using a poster campaign, the local newsletter, social media, and good old fashioned conversations! Eight people stepped forward to help and were trained as part of the Oxfordshire Repair Café project coordinated by The CAG Project. The group were helped by a ‘how to’ guide produced as part of that project too.
With a team of volunteers trained, the worked towards organising the first café in October 2018. As well as the team of electrical goods fixers, there were volunteers mending items of clothing, and a volunteer running activities for children with the parents. There were 12 volunteers overall, and over 30 people attended. 7 out of the 19 electrical items brought along were fixed, and 4 items of clothing mended too.
With word getting out in the community, the November event built on the solid start of the first café with over 80 people attending! A team of 15 volunteers fixed around 20 electrical items, 13 bicycles and 10 items of clothing.
The repair cafés have brought the community together – with a wide range of folks from the community getting involved and attending. The team aim to reduce waste, but also be part of building connection in their community.
A volunteer (Aimee) made a film about the most recent repair café, which gives a flavour of the event:
Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon have kept running repair cafes, with 2 already in 2019 and 3 more planned! The next repair café in Rose Hill is this weekend – Saturday 1st June 2019 – see the Facebook event for more info. And events are already planned for the 3rd of August and 5th of October too!
Eleanor from Rose Hill and Iffley Low Carbon is excited about the event this weekend. For her it’s about tackling our ‘throw-away culture’ and showing that we can use the resources of the planet carefully. She’s looking forward to chatting with friends over a cup of tea and homemade cake too!