Repair Cafe Wales opens & supports repair cafés across Wales.
We are a Community Interest Company that facilitates pop-up events, offering training and advice to encourage communities that want to work towards a more Circular Economy, creating a culture of repair and re-use, directly addressing the ever growing emergency of unsustainable growth in landfill and waste.
‘A society empowered to work together to reduce waste, share skills, and strengthen our communities’
We recognise that the shift of humanity into a throw-away society is not a sustainable one.
Committed to facilitating the opening of repair cafés in every town, village, city and suburb in Wales, we are focusing our energies on nurturing a cleaner, more sustainable world whilst our communities are inclusive and safe environments for people of all ages and backgrounds to share knowledge, skills, and to generally connect.
Our communities repair toasters, rebuild coffee tables and repurpose jeans or dresses, we restore confidence, we reskill those who want to learn, and we remind ourselves of the importance of communication, cooperation and community spirit.
The social and environmental benefits of Repair Cafe Wales are evidenced in the growing levels of local demand to launch repair cafés.
This response reflects increasing public concern over the climate emergency and positively indicates a motivation amongst our society to come together and take practical steps towards a solution.
We are working for our communities to influence standards for goods and government policy, collecting data from our community hubs, and helping to inform policy decisions that promote a greener, more sustainable world.
History of Repair Cafe Wales
Frustrated with the unsustainable growth of landfill and waste, Repair Cafe Wales was founded by Joe O’Mahoney and Cerys Jones in April 2017 to start and support repair cafés in Wales.
The international repair café movement was initiated by Martine Postma. Since 2007, she has been striving for sustainability at a local level in many ways. Martine organised the very first repair café in Amsterdam in 2009. It was a great success.
This prompted Martine to start the Repair Café Foundation. Since 2011, this non-profit organisation has provided professional support to local groups in the Netherlands and other countries wishing to start their own repair café. There are now over 1,500 repair cafés worldwide.
How we’re funded
Repair Cafe Wales has been awarded funding from the organisations below including a grant of £49,976 from the Welsh Government’s Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Grant Scheme via Wales Council for Voluntary Action to save a wide variety of items from landfill by offering repair café sessions at locations in Cardiff, Newport, Port Talbot, and Swansea. The funding helps us to also help the community – by developing practical skills so they can fix their own possessions and build resilience.
In our aim to become self-sufficient, we also hold fixing masterclasses, corporate events, and upcycling demonstrations.
How a Repair Café Works
Repair café events reduce waste, teach skills and build community resilience. The events are run by volunteers who will try to fix anything that is brought to them (though with specialist items, do contact your local repair café.
Repair cafés are started by residents, with our support, and run by the local community. We can provide advice and support on everything from organisation, processes, insurance, fundraising, volunteer recruitment and social media.
At each repair café event, somewhere between 20 and 50 members of the public bring their damaged or broken household items for repair/advice. Typical items include electrical goods, technology, ornaments, clothes, bicycles for basic maintenance & guidance, jewellery and more! The repair café volunteers then attempt to repair the items. The visitors are encouraged to join in and learn how their item is being fixed so that they can attempt similar repair in the future.
We are a not-for-profit Community Interest Company with a management board.
Mission and impact
Repair cafés are a fun, social way to combat the general frustration with wasted materials, resources and a loss of skills. It’s a community, a space for empowerment and the site of transformation where people’s relationships with their household items shift from consumer to owner.
Repair cafés help household items be used for longer rather than throwing them away. This reduces the volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new products. It cuts CO2 emissions by reusing instead of manufacturing new products.
By promoting a repairing culture and inviting each one of our visitors to sit with a volunteer repairer, repair cafés show appreciation for the people who have practical knowledge and ensure these valuable skills are getting passed on.
Repair cafés promote social cohesion in the community by connecting local residents from very different backgrounds and with different motives with each other through an inspiring and low-key event.
Repair Cafe Wales Board
We have a very far ranging board, each who bring their own expertise and experience to help grow Repair Cafe Wales.
We work closely with the organisations below in a number of ways including co-hosting events, fixing / donating / borrowing items, mentoring, managing time credit schemes, analysing repair data, upskilling individuals, hosting repair cafés, providing volunteering opportunities and working together to promote the ‘make do and mend’ culture.