REDDITCH Repair Cafe was buzzing on Saturday with visitors keen to press their case in the General Election – and from nearby Alcester on a fact finding mission to set up their own Repair Cafe.
Election candidates Claire Davies (Green Party), Rebecca Jenkins (Labour Party), Rachel Maclean (Conservative Party) and with Bruce Horton indisposed, Andy Thompson of the Liberal Democrat Party all popped in to see a real Redditch success story in action.
The Repair Cafe, held on the last Saturday of the month at Community House in Easemore Road, is a place where people can get help breathing new life into things that just don’t work any more, whether its vacuum cleaners, radios, computers, kettles whatever thanks to the expert help of the volunteers.
Better still, it doesn’t cost a penny – although donations are welcome – and visitors can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee or warming soup and a cake while they wait for the repair to be done.
“In these times of austerity people simply can’t go out and replace a broken item and it’s fantastic to bring together the knowledge and experience of the people doing the repair to get something fixed and working again,” said Claire Davies, who’d just had a chair repaired.
The cafe runs from 10am to 2pm and Rachel Maclean and Andy Thompson had already been gone when Rebecca Jenkins arrived at about 12.30pm.
“I remember this place,” she said. “I used to do Jujitsu here when I was at school.
“This is a fantastic community initiative which encourages people to come together, share their experiences and stories and get things repaired.
“We really support the voluntary community sector which is filling the gaps as we lose ever more vital services under austerity.”
A spokesperson for the Repair Cafe said: “There have been some interesting discussions going on but it’s all been very cordial and I think the day has been a great success.”
Rachel Maclean later said: “It was great to pop in to the Repair Cafe once again. In today’s throw away culture, it’s great to see these dedicated volunteers coming to the rescue and repairing items which people may otherwise throw away when there’s still life left in them.”