Shropshire Star

Oswestry repair cafes fixes dozens of items in bid to help society make do and mend

Make do and mend may have been a slogan for war-time Britain, but it is being taken up today by those fed up of living in a "throwaway" society.

At the Repair Cafe in Oswestry are Alan Woorow and Mike Bottomley..

Repair cafes are spring up across the region and one is even moving into new premises where it can expand the activities it puts on.

The Oswestry and Llanfyllin repair cafes are run as one project, alternating venues each month between the two towns.

At the Repair Cafe are Rob Wix, Jood Gough and Hannah Peters

On Saturday the cafe was based at Oswestry's Memorial Hall, where no less than 30 skilled volunteers gave up their time to repair items brought in by members of the public.

Nikki Locke from the cafe said: "We saw 24 items fixed. Another four are repairable, seven need parts. We gave advice to on three other items and four were taken home. We had four cancellations."

Among those attending was Oswestry Mayor, Councillor Olly Rose, who dropped in to support the Repair Cafe.

At the Repair Cafe in Oswestry are Liz Penfield-Wells from Telford Terracycle and Mayor Olly Rose..

People with items to repair have to book a time slot a week in advance of the cafe, which will next be held on the second Saturday in February in Llanfyllin.

The project was founded in 2019 by the Llanfyllin based, Build Resilience Against Climate Emergency and Oswestry's Extinction Rebellion.

Alison Alexander from BRACE said it was important to look at what individuals could do in their own ways to localise the fight against the climate emergency.

"Action is certainly an antidote to anxiety and if the Repair Cafes can extend the life of something, as in make do and mend, it is a small positive that everyone can get involved in."

"Mending clothes and buying from charity shops for instance is a way of redressing the stigma or not having new clothes."

"The Repair Cafes help take that stigma away."

She said the next premises in Oswestry were at the top of Bailey Street and were currently themselves being repaired and restored.

The Oswestry group has taken on the premises and will be looking at events it can run to encourage sustainability and reduce waste and the impact on the planet. That might include workshops for people to learn to sew or do other repairs. It may also include linking up with other groups with the same ethos for talk and demonstrations such as cookery meetings.

At the moment the Repair cafes in Oswestry are still held at the Memorial Hall.