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Stitched Up - Reduce waste and gain skills at the Repair Cafe

23 Sep 2019 - 11:35 by helen.walker

Saturday was a busy day for the Stitched Up Repair Cafe at their Chorlton HQ. This free volunteer-run event is on the 3rd Saturday of the month and anyone can drop in with their broken items to see if they can be fixed. On 21st September, they could help with fixing clothes, furniture, electrical items and computers.

Sarah, a volunteer at the cafe, said, "It fits in really well with Stitched Up ethos of sustainability and reusing materials. People who come along with items can often become volunteers themselves. The sessions reduce waste, increase skills and foster a sense of community". 

Six people came along and some had multiple items including a CD player, ice cream maker and a sewing machine which was brought in by Sue. After it was fixed, Sue said that she was excited about what she could do now with it. The clear benefits for the environment include not throwing away items into landfill that can be fixed and not buying new items that need energy to make. The cafe is not a quick fix but there are people there determined to work it out with you. The benefits for people were not just having their items fixed but also increasing their skills so they can help themselves and others in the future.

Caroline, who brought lights, a doorbell and an ice cream maker to be fixed, said: "This is the third time I've been to a repair cafe in Chorlton and Levenshulme. Each time the volunteers have not only fixed/endeavoured to fix my things, they have also explained what they are doing and have let the kids see. It's a really friendly space that has stopped things going to landfill!"

Helen (brought a CD player) "After my first time at a Repair Cafe today, both my husband and myself are interested in volunteering our skills in computers and upcycling. Brilliant, vibrant and exciting place."

Sarah (Discussed upcycling a second hand lampshade with her late father's ties and brought a radio): "The repair cafe is a fantastic community resource. I have received professional help to fix a radio and design a lampshade - both items would have ended up in landfill. The volunteers are brilliant, thank you very much!"

More information about Stitched Up can be found on their website - https://stitchedup.coop/ and follow them on Twitter at @StitchedUpUK

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