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People working at Twickenham Repair Cafè

Twickenham Repair Café achieves 1,000 repairs since opening last year

Twickenham Repair Café has completed 1,000 repairs since its opening last February in St Margaret’s Church Hall.

Over the past 19 months, the repairers have saved over five tonnes from landfill, raising over £2,000 for charity.

The café has mended a range of products, from fiddly coffee machines to 18-year-old teddy bears, offering the community the chance to repair a broken possession and to learn the invaluable skills to repair it themselves next time.

Currently, the group is made up of 33 repair volunteers.

Colin Messenger, an organiser of the Twickenham branch, said: “It’s absolutely terrific.

“I think the interesting thing is that many of the people are professional people, but they’ve just always had a love of repairing.

“We believe that between us we probably have 1,000 years of experience of repairing.

“There’s almost nothing we can’t do.”

Beyond the more technological side of repairs of tablets, laptops and lawn mowers, Colin said that he saw a lot of items of sentimental value come through the door as well.

He said that the café has worked on clocks, watches and stuffed toys.

While there is no expectation of payment, customers have the option to offer a donation at the end of each event, which is held every third Saturday of the month in St Margaret’s Church Hall.

Across the world, there are 2,500 repair cafés, which have been set up to work towards greater sustainability, encouraging individuals to reuse raw materials and repair broken possessions.

Twickenham’s repair café has inspired the installation of seven other cafés in the south west London area, including Chiswick, Kingston and Putney.

The group has worked towards new ways to help repair all sorts of items by experienced volunteers.

In March, the volunteers installed a bike repair station, which is on the edge of the side of the road.

Colin said: “The idea is, if you ride your bike and have a puncture, it’ll be there so you can repair your bike at the side of the road or you can block the tires or whatever you want to do.”

Additionally, the repairers have started gathering tools for Christian charity Tools With a Mission (TWAM), which collects unwanted usable tools to send to Africa.

TWAM has also contributed to the fight for environmental sustainability by reducing UK waste and carbon emissions.

So far, the Twickenham group has collected over 300 tools for TWAM.

For further information about attending Twickenham Repair Café or to volunteer, please visit: https://www.twickenhamrepaircafe.org/

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