The aim of Repair Cafés is to encourage people to learn how to fix their belongings, rather than throw them away in order to reduce waste, maintain repair skills and to strengthen social cohesion.
The first Repair Café was organised in the Netherlands in 2007 – the initiative being so successful the founder started the Repair Café Foundation which provides professional support to local groups around the world wishing to start their own Repair Café. There are over 1300 Repair Cafés worldwide.
Brecon Repair Café are following this model and having purchased the starter kit of consumables and equipped with an extensive set-up manual, are included on the website listing and are able to use the product branding.
The SDF funding supported the purchase of repair materials, insurance and safety training for two young people to gain PAT testing qualifications. Any electrical items are PAT tested and the service is also available to local charities for a small charge. Now the café is up and running, it is proving very popular and the costs are covered by voluntary contributions from people using the repair café. This has proved possible from the experience of other repair cafes such as at Llandrindod.
Prior to starting the project Brecon Volunteer Bureau contacted local business owners and the Chamber of Trade to gauge response to a repair café to address any concerns. Their responses were very positive and one business offered to run a repair workshop. Flyers and business cards have been collected for referrals for more complex repairs. The repair café opens once a month on a Saturday and welcomes everyone to bring in their items to fix.
SDF grant given to this project £1,196