SALISBURY’S Repair Café will be marking three years of making and mending at its next gathering.
Volunteer sewists, sparks, bike mechanics, crafters, bookbinders, bakers and more have carried out around 500 repairs since first uniting in 2019.
And they will be welcoming more items in need of some tender loving care at the Quench Salisbury community hub from 9.30am on Saturday, November 5.
“From the outset, Salisbury Repair Café (SRC) has served a need in the local community, with about 40 people on average bringing items for repair to each event,” said a spokesperson for the group.
“From clothing to children’s toys, bikes to books, jewellery to jet washers, SRC’s dedicated team have repaired an incredible 443 items for local people.”
On the first Saturday of each month, Quench Salisbury is transformed into a vibrant, welcoming, and friendly hive of repairing activity with sewing machines, soldering irons and screwdrivers put to work fixing an unpredictable range of household items brought for repair.
Tea and cake is served by a team of hosts keeping both repairers and visitors going.
The November 5 event will be no different, organisers said, with one minor difference – at the end of the event, the volunteers will down tools for a shared ‘potluck lunch’ to reflect on three years of fixing and friendship.
A Wiltshire Council Area Board grant of £1,000 kickstarted the SRC journey but in return, volunteers have collectively given up more than 1,400 hours of their time to the community.
“Donations from the local community help to sustain SRC’s running costs with any surplus given to local good causes,” the spokesperson added.
“In March, SRC donated £380 to the DEC Ukraine Appeal, after donating £100 to the local STARS appeal in August 2021.
“Above all, SRC aims to serve the people of Salisbury and sometimes even further afield.”
One recent visitor, Pam Eaton, said she had travelled around 20 miles in the hope of securing a repair – successfully.
“It was lovely to meet you all and I am so pleased that my late mother’s chair is being repaired,” she said.
“I’ve told several friends in Pewsey about the wonderful café.”
Pam’s chair is being fixed by skilled SRC sewist Karen Mawson, who said: “I initially started volunteering for environmental reasons, to help divert things from the bin, but an unexpected joy is being part of a devoted and warm team of volunteers, who either help people save money by their repairs or breathe new life into much loved possessions.
“I’ve learnt so much and really look forward to our monthly gatherings.”
SRC bade farewell to inspirational co-founder Benji Goehl last month after his move to Topsham in Devon.
The café is now under the stewardship of its remaining co-founder Jimmy Walker and Kathy Cininas, a longstanding volunteer organiser.
Kathy said: “As long as people in Salisbury have items that need fixing our team of volunteers will keep trying to help them.
“If you want to join our family of fixers and friends, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.”