Kingsbridge Repair Cafe, an initiative that sees people working together to fix their broken items, has returned. They held their first event after the Summer break on Sunday September 24th. 

Rosa Hannaford, project lead for the Kingsbridge Cafe, said: “Since we started our monthly Repair Cafe in January we have managed to fix over 140 items and welcomed hundreds of people through the doors of the Kingsbridge Care Hub on a Sunday morning. 

“Items brought in range from hedge trimmers to ripped trousers, food processors, handbags, dog harnesses, lamps, deckchairs and novelty clocks! Our most popular items are definitely toasters, followed by blunt tools in need of sharpening.

“We love chatting to the customers that come along and hearing their stories about the items they are hoping to fix. Even when we haven’t had a successful repair, the customers feel satisfied that they have at least tried and know there’s nothing more they can do. 

“Sadly many items are still designed to make repairing them really challenging, but we are becoming much more aware of the products and brands out there that have repairability built into their design.”

The initiative is a collaborative project between Kingsbridge Climate Action, Kingsbridge Care Hub & Age Concern and Till the Coast is Clear. It has been a great success since it opened and helped many local people as well the environment. 

Rosa added: “We have grown a fantastic team of volunteers who are all passionate about using their skills to reduce waste and save repairable items from landfill.  We have all learnt so much about repair since we started the project and one of the best things about the events is the way we all learn from each other. There are some incredibly skilled people in our community and it’s great to see those skills being shared.”

The team hope to expand people’s skillsets and teach them how to fix their items independently. 

“Our next steps are to offer more skill share workshops in Kingsbridge so people can learn how to repair and upcycle items themselves, and also to expand our directory of repair businesses so we can signpost our customers more easily to professional repairers when something needs more attention and expertise than we can give it. We want to do more to promote those businesses and individuals that work in repair and invite anyone that offers repair as a service to fill in the form on our website.

“We are really grateful to South Hams District Council who provided some kickstarter funding to help get the project off the ground, and we are now working on becoming self sufficient.” 

Many locals have been impressed by the cafe. One Kingsbridge resident said: “Great advice and excellent help to obtain spares for my toaster -enabled me to save buying a new one! Great to repair and reuse and it saved me £65.”

A Charleton resident added: “We think the Repair Café team are brilliant - a favourite coat saved from ‘rag bag’ and I am happy!” 

The cafe sessions run on the last Sunday of the month between 10am to 1pm at the Kingsbridge Care Hub. 

If you would like to volunteer with the cafe, or are not sure whether to bring an item in you can email them first at [email protected] to chat about it.