Can we can fix it? Yes we can!

Can we can fix it? Yes we can!
Teddy bear repairs at Tunbridge Wells Repair Café

Anybody with a cherished broken belonging can take it to the café to be fixed by the volunteer repairers.

Repair Cafés were the brainchild of Martine Postma, who started the first café in Amsterdam in 2009.

Since then, hundreds of the community fix-it events have been started in towns and cities around the world, but this is the first time the initiative has been tried in Tunbridge Wells.

The town’s first Repair Café was held at Trinity Theatre on Saturday, March 7, and scores of people turned up to have items fixed in one of the 16 repair stations by the many volunteer repairers.

“In total, about 100 people came on Saturday, and we repaired around 64 items,” said organiser Chris Murphy.

“People brought in a whole gamut of things, including an old chair, curtain rails, a food mixer, heaters, a lamp, a Lego trailer, a home theatre system, a bike, a slow cooker, gloves and even an Amazon Kindle.”

He added that the volunteers, who were either professionals or ‘keen hobbyists’, were able to repair two thirds of the items that came through the door.

“The most touching item was a music box brought in by a lady; it belonged to her late mother, and hadn’t worked in decades.

The lady was brought to tears after we fixed it and got it working for the first time in years,” continued Mr Murphy.

“There was also a 94-year-old teddy bear that was in a very sorry state but was clearly loved. “We changed its eyes and fixed its paw, but will have to wait until next time to repair one of its legs as the repairer needed some material.”

He said that anybody in the community is welcome to bring in broken items, and one of the repair experts will do their best to fix it.

“We are self-funded, so do accept donations if people can afford it, but we will still repair items if somebody hasn’t any money as this is all about the community helping the community,” added Mr Murphy.

The next Repair Café takes place at Trinity Theatre on Saturday April 4 from 10am until 1pm.

Anybody interested in volunteering to help, or with any questions about the Repair Café can email 

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