Finding someone and somewhere that will repair a broken item is a chore for many of us. Often, the easier option is to throw it into landfill and buy a new one.
It was the challenge of yet another broken kettle that prompted Bath resident Lorna Montgomery to look for a solution. Her search led her to the Repair Café Foundation. Its aims to help local repair volunteers use and share their skills for the benefit of their local community fitted well with her background in volunteer organisations and led to the creation of the Bath Repair Café.
The first café was in Bear Flat in April 2017. Since then, we have set up regular monthly cafés in Larkhall, Weston, Southdown and Peasedown St John with pop-ups in Foxhill and at the University of Bath.
Since it began, our volunteers have seen more than 1,200 items, fixing things like singing teddy bears, mobile phones, numerous toasters and kettles, and many dresses, skirts and jackets. Sentimental items such as model boats, weighing scales and old clocks have also been given a new lease of life.
From repairing to sharing: In November 2018, the Bath Repair Café opened a permanent ‘Library of Things’ in Bath (at Weston Hub) and changed its name to Share & Repair.
We are delighted to see that community interest in sharing and repairing continues to grow, which means so do our plans.
At Share & Repair we are working alongside communities in High Littleton and Bear Flat to help establish Repair Café projects. We recently supported the creation of a new Repair Café in Keynsham which, we're happy to report, is proving very popular.
In 2020, our plans are to become a charity, to help more communities set up Repair Cafés and last, but by no means least, to locate premises in central Bath to house a bigger Library of Things, repair and HOW TO workshops
We're always looking for ideas and people to expand and develop what we do, as well as volunteers. So if you’re interested in what we do, and have time, skills or just want to be part of Share & Repair, why not Get Involved?