Go Green Week – Repair Cafe

As part of the final day of University of Worcester’s Go Green Week events, which focused on promoting sustainable initiatives to students, Friday saw the volunteers from Malvern Hills Repair Café take over the SU in the afternoon.

The theme of the final day revolved around recycling and the re-use of household good and , along with the Igloo build at the university’s nursery that took place earlier in the day, the event was a fantastic way for both students and staff to get involved.

Aiming to help students repair a wide spectrum of items, the group also showed attendees a range of skills that they might not necessarily be using during their time living in university accommodation.

Objects ranging from old clothing to household appliances were handed over the small group of repairers, who were able to the fix the lion’s share of what their were given.

During the two-hour event, the team of volunteers repaired dozens of items and met a large number of students who were eager to experience the way the group operated.

Each one of the volunteers that took part had their own specific skill that they were able to put to good use, including a team of repairers trained to work in electronic goods.

The event was free to take part in, though donations towards the organisation were encouraged.

Jan Dyer, one of the co-founders of the group, felt that the idea of repairing items has been pushed out of modern culture, particularly with young people.

“There’s a bit of a throwaway culture going on at the moment. Not many things are built to last and it’s a shame that a lot of young people just don’t have the skills to make their things last,” she said.

“Many of the skills that our volunteers are using today are sadly dying out and it would be a huge shame if they end up being lost to the current generation.”

Jan also felt that the Repair Café was a great opportunity for people to learn new ways to mend broken object, as well as a unique way of meeting new people.

“We encourage people that bring things in for us to sit with our volunteers, so they can pick up any useful skills.”

“We’ve gained many of our volunteers through them bringing items in for us to mend, then coming back to help our team with jobs.”

The group usually operates at Malvern Cube every month and have running since December 2012.

During that time, their team of over 30 volunteers have worked on around 2,000 individual items brought to them by members of the public.

The concept of a repair café originated in Holland in 2009 and have inspired 19 separate groups in the UK alone.

As the afternoon helped bring this year’s hugely successful Go Green Week to a close, it also reinforces many of the sustainable initiatives that had been promoted so well throughout the event.

In order to properly take care of the environment around us, we need to make sure that we make the most of our household items and not simply replace them at the first sign of trouble.

If the values that Malvern Hills Repair Cafe promoted at their event could be taken up by even a fraction of the student community of University of Worcester, the local area would be greatly improved.

To learn more about Malvern Hills Repair Café, visit https://www.facebook.com/MalvernHillsRepairCafe/timeline.

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