The lifeblood of Share and Repair is our amazing volunteers. You may not realise all the work that goes on behind the scenes to put on events, carry out repairs, get items ready for people to borrow, keep the shop doors open, get the word out and keep us all organised! It is endless, and we are so grateful for the hard work, skills and enthusiasm of dozen of volunteers over the past four years who have made the project grow from strength to strength.
We wanted to introduce you to a few of these wonderful people to you. Maybe there’s a place for you in the team too?
Meet Miles, shop volunteer
“I love volunteering and was drawn to Share and Repair as I'd heard how great a team they were and I'm a strong believer in their objectives to reduce waste and support the environment. On top of this I'm terrible at repairing things so week by week I'm slowly improving.
“I volunteer most Saturdays. I do a range of activities from meeting and greeting customers, to doing more database stuff such as logging all the donated items that come in and taking pics of these for the website. You'll won't find me anywhere near any repairing, this is left to the professionals!
“My favourite memory would have to be Owen (volunteer repairer) offering us his rendition of Andrea Bocelli's 'Time to Say Goodbye' which Abi I'm sure joined in with to make the duet. A close second recurring memory would be the constant supply of biscuits that await each time I volunteer!
Favourite item from the Library of Things? “It would have to be the Food Mixer purely because this is the only item that can make peanut butter!”
Meet Catherine, sewing repairer
“I grew up in the 1950s post-war years and it was all ‘make do and mend’. My father, a surgeon, mended our toys and my mother, an ex-nurse, mended everything else. Someone of my sort of age might remember ‘sides to middle’, which was a way of making single sheets last longer; when they had worn through in the middle, you cut them in half and join the scarcely-used sides. A big problem with this was that I had to sleep on a chunky seam down the middle of the sheet!
“In fact, a favourite recent repair was when a gentleman brought in a duvet cover with a giant hole at the top where it had worn through after many years of use. Many people might have chucked it out and bought a new one but he knew he really liked it and how it felt to sleep under. Together we devised a way to create a whole new deep top for the cover in a contrasting fabric (which he then went to buy), and I added some ties at the bottom in the new fabric so that it looked as though it should always have been like that.
“Part of my role is to sympathise, advise and encourage those who have much-loved clothing or household items that have been over-loved and now need repair. Often this means sending the owner off to the wonderful Guildhall Market haberdashery store (when open) to buy some essential bit of kit.
“Sewing repairs can be tricky for people to do themselves as they are often best done on a sewing machine, which is why it would be better if I was kinder to the shop’s one!”
Meet Eva, cargo bike rider
“I grew up in a household where if anything was broken, my dad would take it apart and teach himself to fix it. We didn’t have a car and used bikes for getting about and transporting stuff. So it's a pretty natural fit for me to ride a cargo bike around Bath facilitating things being borrowed and repaired!
“I like that Share & Repair serves as a community hub that many people are involved in in different ways. I also like finding my way around different parts of Bath by bike. I'm used to riding a cargo bike: I have a second-hand Dutch cargo bike that I've used since my children were small and we don't own a car.
“I deliver and collect things that people are borrowing or that are being repaired. The Share & Repair bike gets lots of attention: people are intrigued and ask questions, particularly about how it copes with Bath’s hills! I hope, though, that over time, the bike will cease to be such a talking point as cargo bikes making all sorts of deliveries become an ever-more familiar sight on the streets of Bath.
Favourite Library of Things item? We just adopted two kittens from Bath Cats and Dogs home so may well be borrowing the pet carrier soon!
Meet Graham, repairer
I've always tried to repair my own things and in doing so have developed some skills and experience of repairing. So when a flyer for the first Share and Repair in Bath dropped through the letterbox I thought I'd give it a try. The thought of helping other people to repair rather than to dispose of things was a strong motivation.
“Repairing is a series of puzzles: how should it work? How is it not working? How does the case come apart? How can it be diagnosed? How can it be rectified? How should it be reassembled? Solving each puzzle is satisfying, like completing a crossword or sudoku. It's even better than those, because if you solve them all you make someone happy, avoid something going into a hole in the ground and save the resources that would be needed to make a new one.
“Helping to set up the shop in Broad Street was a significant moment. The feeling of Share and Repair having a home was great, lending a sense of permanence to the organisation.
“My favourite repairs have a sentimental attachment. A particular example is an espresso coffee maker that was the owner's fortieth birthday present. There were a lot of small problems which revealed themselves bit by bit. It was a relief to get it working as the value to the owner exceeded the cost of a new one.”
We are always welcoming new volunteers and there are many different ways to get involved.
Find out more here: https://shareandrepair.org.uk/get-involved/