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Fix broken items at the Repair Café

Image via Repair Cafe Wales

Grab a cup of tea or coffee while volunteer repairers fix your broken items for free

Image via Repair Cafe Wales

Repairers at the November Repair Cafe event (Image via Repair Cafe Wales)

The Repair Café is a meeting that brings local volunteers together to fix broken items for free and it will be coming to The Table café in Cardiff the first Saturday of every month.

The Table is a church-turned-café located in Cathays which has hosted the event since April of this year.

Handy volunteers gather together in local meeting places to fix up broken items in a bid reduce waste and actively prevent perfectly good things from going to the landfill.

The concept was brought to life in Amsterdam back in 2009 and has since spread worldwide, with over 1,300 groups in 33 countries.

Café volunteer and minister Rob Morse explained that there are two main purposes behind the event as they interpret it in Cardiff.

The first is to “reduce landfill” and unnecessary waste, and the second is to create a space for people who might be vulnerable, quiet, isolated or in need of companionship to come and have conversations with the volunteers.

“The conversations that happen are just as important as the repairing,” Rob said.

A whole host of items have been fixed since April, with everything from garden shredders to toasters. Rob says, “On any given Repair Café day, we’ll probably have around 15 to 16 repairers,” he continues, “they’ll be experts in IT, electrical goods and carpentry,” to name a few.

Rob also said that lots of seamstresses volunteer and fix up clothes that may have otherwise been thrown out. Bikes and jewelry have also been successfully repaired, and at last month’s repair cafe event, a cross-trainer was given a new lease of life.

The Repair Cafe’s website explains that attendees going to the meet-ups can also learn from the volunteer repairers they meet to get involved and try to be less wasteful in future.

While all the repairs are done free of charge, you can donate money to the repairers if you wish.

And if you’d rather do something for your repairer you can, just as Rob says, “Be a little more personal with your repairer and go buy them a coffee or a piece of cake.”

A slice of chocolate cake from The Table’s menu

With over 50 items repaired last month, the Repair Cafe appears to be going from strength to strength in Cardiff.

But, as Rob explains, the event is about more than actively fixing broken things and reducing waste, “We’re about repairing the soul, or repairing the person, as well as the product or item.”

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