Funder of environmental projects across the UK, The Naturesave Trust, has recognised the success of Repair Café Wales in providing leadership on the practicalities of running repair cafes. The Community Interest Company celebrated the opening of its 27th café in Monmouth in February 2020.
An exemplar of sustainable community work
Repair Café Wales was chosen by the Trust as an exemplar of sustainable community work that specifically promotes and facilitates environmental improvement and ‘green’ issues. A grant of £1000 has been awarded that goes some way to support the worthwhile effort of groups across Wales that hold monthly events where the local people can get their broken household items repaired for free by volunteers.
The Naturesave Trust was set up in 1995 from the premiums generated by Naturesave Insurance, which uses the insurance industry as a vehicle for sustainable development. The landfill reduction and carbon savings offered by repair cafes prove a perfect fit Trust’s focus on grant funding for environmental projects. 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. Visitors are encouraged to join in and learn how their item is being fixed so that they can attempt similar repair in the future.
Joe O’Mahoney, Co-Founder & Chair of Repair Café Wales is delighted with the award. “This grant will allow RCW to open at least three new Repair Cafes and provide them with the regular personal support and materials a local group needs to establish themselves.
“Back in April 2017, as a small group of individuals linked by the overall aim of moving towards more sustainable living, we recognised change needs to happen in the places where we live and work and the importance of simply taking small steps, to create a much bigger impact than one person working on their own.
“We started to build on the excellent work undertaken by Repair Café International to improve community engagement in Wales. Working with individuals, groups and local institutions we provide leadership and the technical expertise on practicalities of running repair cafes at a local level.
“The household goods fixing sessions eliminate waste by keeping products usable, for as long as possible – contributing to less waste going to landfill and carbon savings for future generations. The demand for Repair Cafes has seen events grow from 1 to 27 in Wales – a clear indication of people’s unmet need to make things last. And we’re developing conversations with groups across the UK and beyond who’ve expressed interest in setting up new events using our model.
“As well as the economic benefit of delivering free resources for people on limited incomes, we’ve recognised the less tangible advantages of emotional connection with the repair movement. We’ve seen individuals grow in morale and mental well-being as community groups give up their free time and develop their own skills and confidence. With a really feeling they are achieving a small contribution to the major global issue of climate change.”
The Repair Cafe Wales project is funded by Welsh Government’s Landfill Disposal Tax Community Scheme, administered by WCVA.
For further information
Repair Café Wales firstname.lastname@example.org
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