Repair Café Bude celebrating repairing over 100 items since February.

Repair Café Bude celebrating repairing over 100 items since February.

What do you do with a broken toaster? Or a bike whose wheels are out of alignment? Or with a sweater full of moth holes? Bin it? No way!

Back from its August break, Repair Café Bude is open for repairs from the last Saturday in September. In late 2018, a group of like-minded volunteers came together to establish Repair Café Bude. The first one was held on the 23rd February at Neetside Community Centre and with the exception of August has been on the last Saturday of every month to date.

Manned by various volunteer repair experts, the organisers have been overwhelmed with support from the local community with over 25 volunteer repairers and helpers giving approx. 300 volunteer hours so far, giving their time to make repairs free of charge.

“We throw away piles of stuff in the UK. Even things which practically have nothing wrong with them and which could easily be used again after a simple repair. A Greener Bude has a number of projects it wanted to see established in Bude over the next 3-5 years, so we were delighted when Neetside Community Centre and volunteer project organiser Eilidh MacCormick stepped forward to lead on Repair Café Bude.” Deb Rosser, A Greener Bude.

Six months on and over 103 items have been repaired and so saved from going into landfill, the items range from; Table lamps, Fairy Lights, a Smoothie Maker, CD Player, Clocks, Mobile Phones, Laptops, Jet washers, a Toy lamb – leg falling off, Bracelets, Bikes and lots of zips

“What we love is the unexpected extra’s Repair Café has brought – there’s a real sense of community among the repairers, café team, runners and receptionists, all of whom are volunteers who have found common ground in wanting to help reduce waste, share skills and generally make friends with like-minded people. There’s always a real sense of achievement at the end of the café.” Miranda Clarke, Manager Neetside Community Centre.

Central to the idea of repair café is skill sharing and many of the repairers and those who have brought items to be repaired are keen to share their knowledge and to learn new skills. Lots of advice is also given and repairers are often able to recommend local business for bigger jobs or those that require specialist knowledge, skills or a greater length of time. Sadly, some items are unrepairable. Mostly due to the way they have been designed or manufactured. But feedback from visitors is, ‘at least we know now, we won’t feel guilty that we have to throw it away.’

People often ask how it works and so a quick and simple picture story has been developed to encourage those thinking about getting something repaired to come down to Neetside Community Centre and sign up their item.

Eilidh MacCormick says, “It has been so lovely to see the Repair Cafe community grow within Bude. The offers of help in so many ways and the kindness and generosity shown to each other at the Repair Cafes. Community at its best, growing, encouraging and helping each other “

The next Repair Café Bude will be at Neetside Community Centre, Saturday 26th October 10.30am – 12.30pm. You can follow the project via Facebook – Repair Café Bude or if you have any questions or want to volunteer contact Neetside Community Centre direct on 01288353403 or