How did Malling Repair Café start?
I saw an advert for a Repair Café and thought what a good idea for this area, so sent off for more information. The journey then started in earnest in August 2022 and I put out a call for persons interested, and the replies I got back were a resounding Yes please, count me in!! We then visited each of the Kent Cafés to find out how they worked and the systems they employed.
In November 2022 we opened our doors for the first time at the Leybourne Chase Pavilion, West Malling with the founding members and around 22 repairers and a wonderful support team. Only having a pop-up ‘café’ we quickly realised that bigger premises with a kitchen was needed. We now have the use of 2 large village halls that we use on alternate months. We didn’t hold a Repair Café in December 2022 as it was so close to Christmas.
We're fortunate now to have a fantastic group of volunteers who are incredibly kind-hearted fixers, and our support team is truly exceptional.
From our humble beginnings and in the last busy 8 months we have welcomed:
416 visitors who brought in 506 items for repair of which 436 items have been repaired and saved from landfill. These include clothing and fabrics, toasters, laptops/pcs, radios, speakers, ceramics, wooden, mechanical, electrical, vacuum cleaners, clocks, bikes, lamps, lawnmowers, jewellery, and tool sharpening. In a nutshell, we will attempt to fix any household/personal item that has broken and save it from landfill.
Strangest things in for repair a Venetian mask, a very old adding machine and an 8-track cassette player.
The Malling Repair Café are a regular thing on every 3rd Saturday of the month except December.
We have a wonderful team of volunteer repairers and a support team, who we would not be able to operate without. However, we could really use some more helping hands. You don't have to commit to coming every month, but the more volunteers we have, the better it is for everyone involved, as it eases the workload on our current team.
We welcome all kinds of fixers, as well as general helpers. No matter what your skills are, we would be delighted to hear from you. If you're interested in contributing to this invaluable community resource and making a difference, please reach out to us. Your assistance would mean the world to us! email [email protected]. In fact, many of our visitors like the repair cafe so much that they join us as either repairers or support team members. More info can be found at www.mallingrepaircafe.co.uk
you can also find us on Facebook - search for malling repair café.