In lockdown in early 2021, we were able to carry on sharing and repairing thanks to our brilliant volunteers and loaned cargo bike. We delivered and collected our Library of Things items and transported repair items from owners and to our volunteers who were ‘repairing from home’.
In March, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, LocalGiving and a grant from BathNes Council, we purchased our very own amazing electric Cargo Bike aptly named by you as the Flying Satsuma. She delivered an amazing 506 items last year!
In April we launched HomeKit, partnering with 4 charities who have since distributed 46 kettles, irons, toasters, lamps, TVs and heaters to people on a low income starting out in their own homes. Thanks to you for giving these preloved items a new lease of life.
In April we also celebrated 4 years of Repairing in Bath & NE Somerset. Did you spot us delivering cakes to say thank you to all our supporters?
In June we restarted Repair Cafes (after closing for lockdown in 2020) and in July, the village of Farmborough launched their first Repair Café in the Village Hall with a new and enthusiastic team of volunteer administrators and repairers.
July also saw much packing up, painting and clearing when we prepared to move from Broad Street to 3 York Buildings on George Street – what incredible volunteers we have!
In early August, using all modes of wheeled vehicles, we moved ourselves round the corner to our lovely new shop. This has given us so much more visibility and space for you to share and repair, and we love it.
We officially launched our new premises in September with the support of Revolution next door.
We also thanked our volunteers outside with a late summer social and bade a fond farewell to General Manager Abi who played such a significant part in the establishment of our shops.
We doubled the number of repair sessions available to you when we appointed our new General Manager, Emma, to work alongside Ellen, which also enabled us to try out opening on Thursday afternoons.
Harry joined us temporarily to get our HOWTO Workshops off the ground again – all of which have been popular, especially the new addition of ‘Visible Darning’ by Lizzie which helps us keep clothes longer and looking great!
We finalised our ambitious 3 year Strategy in November and agreed to appoint a new Operations Director to help us achieve this. Thankfully we had some government funding to make this possible for a year – watch this space.
2021 ended with the amazing Elves’ Swapshop and the Elf-o-matic Toy Upcycling machine in partnership with Bath BID. This gave over 1000 children the chance to swap old toys and to learn that toys can continue their life with another child, and that new is not always necessary.
We have talked about the charity on BBC and local radio and have presented to the Bathnes Schools Climate Conference, to an online Jewish community meeting, to the Future Economy Network and elsewhere. We were also interviewed as an example of good practice by the Welsh Government, which is supporting similar initiatives across Wales.
One of our greatest achievements of the year has to be winning the Bath Life Award for Environment – chuffed!