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Fran Nibbs, Manager of Foundation House, with Tim Cox, and Charlotte, who also works at Foundation House.
Fran Nibbs, Manager of Foundation House, with Tim Cox, and Charlotte, who also works at Foundation House.

Lord Lieutenant Tim Cox finds out how the Repair Café in Stratford is helping to repair people’s items for a small donation.

The cost of living crisis may be causing many of us to buy cheaper, more disposable and less environmentally friendly goods, but the Repair Café in Stratford is helping to address this by repairing people’s items for a small donation. The Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire, Tim Cox, went along to find out more.  

This regular monthly event was set up in September by Stratford Town Trust in partnership with local voluntary group Net Zero. The Cafés are held at Foundation House on the first Saturday of every month, 10am to 2pm. However, there will be no Repair Café in January, so the next event will be on Saturday 4 February 2023.  

The café is part of a network around the country pairing volunteers - including repair experts - with people who would like to get items repaired rather than throwing them away. Everyday household items like lamps, toasters, laptops and bicycles are regularly brought in with the aim to get them back out in full working order. 

Most items can usually be repaired by volunteer specialists. All electrical items are tested when they arrive and before they leave. 

Tim Cox, Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire said:  

“Many people don’t feel confident repairing broken items themselves. The Repair Café helps share repair skills that are being lost, as well as bringing the local community together at a relaxed and enjoyable event. There was a great atmosphere and I very much enjoyed meeting the volunteers as well as the individuals who had brought items to be repaired.”

Cllr Heather Timms, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and the Environment, said:  

“The festive season can be costly for our environment, as well as our pockets. Planning what gifts and food we need and buying items with less packaging can reduce the amount we throw away as well as reduce the cost of Christmas.  Upcycling items to give as gifts can also help. Initiatives like the Repair Café are wonderful not only for helping us create less waste, but also for bringing people together.”  

Sara Aspley, CEO of Stratford Town Trust, said

“Our vision is to create a vibrant and connected community in Stratford and we are proud to be working with local environmental group Net Zero and a team of brilliant volunteers to host this monthly event at our community hub, Foundation House. Repairing items reduces the volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new products. It cuts CO2 emissions because manufacturing new products and recycling old ones causes CO2 to be released. More than that though, it’s a place where people can come together and repair broken items, pass on and learn new skills, and have fun.”

Man working on repairing a toaster.

Published: 8th December 2022

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