Repair Café goes from strength to strength

21st October

Repair cafés first started in Amsterdam in the 1990s to reduce waste and landfill, to foster the community spirit and to impart the skills of mending to the wider community. People bring in their broken household goods and have them mended (if this is possible) and watch and learn the mending process. Repairing is done voluntarily but donations are welcome and necessary for paying the rent and insurance. While people wait, they can buy home-made cakes and drinks.

Six volunteers who came together to start the Repair Café Heathfield because they are all passionately interested in protecting the environment. They wanted to rekindle the spirit of repair it, don’t bin it!

Cornelie Usborne, a steering group member, explains: “We worked on this project since the end of 2019, but covid delayed our opening until 11 September this year. We meet in the light and airy Horam Village Hall, every second Saturday from 8.30-12 noon. We called it Repair Café Heathfield because we were given a small grant by Heathfield Parish Council.

“We are so fortunate that we managed to recruit eight wonderful volunteer repairers – they are all highly skilled professionals,  some retired, some who depend on their skills for their livelihood. They are enthusiastic to help and pass on their knowledge for free. So far, they have tackled everything from broken chairs to necklaces, teddies to tents, toasters to computers, zips to cycles. Come and join the happy punters and learn repairing yourself and, above all, meet like-minded neighbours and friends. What is there not to like?”

The next session is on 13 November and the last one, this year, is on 11 December. The team is hoping to have a wonderful opera singer warming people’s hearts with arias and musical numbers. There will also be hot mulled wine and mince pies.

Steering group members are Cornelie Usborne, Mary and Roger Stevenson, Jenny Howells, Jane Trott and Lisa Stevens.