THE Repair Café in Tunbridge Wells has recently become the largest in the South East, with 27 repair stations, and over 70 volunteers.
From clocks to clowns, the café sees a huge mix of items being brought in for fixing and is calling for local people to come and assist in the process. Volunteers are needed in front of house greeting and repairing roles, as well as behind the scenes in admin and marketing.
Café Organiser Chris Murphy explained: “It takes 42 people to staff a repair café. I am so grateful for all the time and skill given freely by volunteers, it would not happen without them.”
Chris describes the delight people show in having their items fixed, explaining that over 60 per cent of everything brought in gets repaired.
Advice is offered in a further 20 percent of cases, and irreparable items are recycled wherever possible.
Chris said the café welcomes many regulars.
“One person said they enjoyed coming along so much they needed to break something as everything else had been mended,” he added.
Items brought in can hold historic as well as personal significance. Chris recalled a recent ‘coronation steam train’ which came with a newspaper article about the late Queen Elizabeth II.
As well as pieces of sentimental value, some rarer items have also made their way into the shop. A Ming vase was even repaired last weekend, much to the surprise and excitement of volunteers.
Any money raised is used to cover costs, and extra earnings are donated to charity, with over £1,000 raised for charities including West Kent Mind, and Taylor Made Dreams.
The Repair Café, which is held at Trinity Theatre, is next open on October 1, November 5, and November 26. The café opens at 9.45am, with repairs from 10am until 1pm.
The café can be contacted for information and advice at: email@example.com