On Sunday, Transition Town Reading and Greater Reading Environmental Network (GREN) held its first Repair Café, helping many people repair items they may otherwise have had to throw away. The event was one of the first public events at Highbridge House and proved to be an ideal location for the Repair Café which we hope will become a regular feature.
A team of 15 volunteers from Transition Town Reading, GREN, Reading Cycle Campaign, rLab – Reading Hackspace and other individuals helped people repair items including clothing and toys, electronics, bikes, computers and tools. A volunteer also provided advice on draught proofing your home.
Alongside the repairs, volunteers hosted a café with tea, coffee and home-made cakes, where people could relax, meet others and find out more about Repair Café.
Just one example of the many success stories is that of one lady with tinnitus who uses a white noise machine to enable her to sleep. Having dropped and broken the machine, she could no longer relax or sleep nor afford the £80 to by a new machine. In 5 minutes, Nick, our electronics expert, repaired the machine, and Mrs J left a very happy customer, looking forward to her first good night’s sleep in a long time!
The event is entirely free, with donations welcomed for repairs and refreshments. With the help of rLab – Reading Hackspace, we hope to make this a monthly event. Dates are to be confirmed, but future Repair Cafés may continue to take place on the third weekend of the month. Event information will be available on the RVA Directory when dates and times have been finalised.
We would also welcome your help to promote future Repair Cafés to people you feel could most benefit from being involved; either as volunteer repairers or to get items repaired themselves. It is a great way for people to save money, learn and share new skills, and meet new people.