The residents of Blackdown Hills are not ones to rest on their laurels during a pandemic, oh no!
Local volunteers from the Repair Café in the Blackdowns spent the months of June through to November in their homes and workshops, busily fixing, mending and repairing a variety of broken household items brought to them by other local residents.
We’re not just talking about a temperamental toaster or squeaky bike pedal. These fix-it fiends took in 259 items, worked their magic and repaired 225 of them – a success rate of 87%!
In total they sharpened 52 tools and repaired 95 electrical items, 19 pieces of jewellery, 30 items of furniture, 6 sewing machines, 13 ceramic items, 3 antiques, a selection of computers, bikes, time pieces, clothing, one petrol hedge trimmer, an electric organ, a child’s highchair and a doll’s pram!
News of this talented bunch has obviously travelled as people flocked from Hemyock, Blagdon Hill and neighbouring areas with their ailing items, some bringing more than one.
Pre-Covid, the Repair Café has been a regular event every 2 months in Hemyock. It’s proved popular with local residents who are keen to see their household items repaired instead of throwing them away. The event itself may be temporarily on hold but volunteers are still offering their socially distanced expertise from their homes, sheds and workshops, and with a recent 87% repair rate they are doing a fantastic job of reducing waste and helping people save money.
Volunteers offer their time and specialist skills for free, but donations are welcome and generously given by happy customers who are spared the cost of buying a replacement!
If you live in the area and have any broken items, don’t throw them away! Why not see if they can be repaired first? Volunteers’ specialist skills include repairs to electricals, ceramics, clothing, textiles, jewellery, computers, furniture, sewing machines, chainsaws, lawnmowers, bicycles and garden tools. They also sharpen knives and tools too! To find out how you can turn broken into beautiful, contact Stephan on the Repair Café in the Blackdowns Facebook page.
If you don’t live nearby but would like to organise something similar for your local area, contact Devon’s re-use officer, Catherine Causley.
Find out more about repairing and reusing everything from bikes and furniture to clothes here.