Liz Clark and Katerina Stechman started the Penarth Repair Café in St. Augustine’s Parish hall in June 2018. The Penarth residents were so excited after visiting the Grangetown repair café last year (there are four repair cafes in Cardiff), they wanted to bring this fantastic idea to their home town of Penarth. Liz didn’t wanted to discard her late mother’s Kenwood Chef food mixer and Katerina was reluctant to send a CD player to landfill. At the Grangetown café, Liz and Katerina were met by friendly and enthusiastic volunteers, local people who wanted to use their skills to support causes they felt passionately about – to help their neighbours’ fix their much-loved items and so stop us throwing things away. The Penarth café has been running every month since, with more volunteers wanting to join us and more local residents bringing their items in for repair every month! Our volunteers have fixed more than 280 items and we hope this equates to up to 280 items not filling a hole in the ground.
We meet on the 4th Sunday of the month between 2-5pm (excluding August and December) and host a wonderful community event where people with skills offer their time to fix items that would otherwise end up in landfill. Rachel and the team at the Parish Church Hall on Albert Road have very kindly agreed to work with us and host the cafés. Parish volunteers provide delicious refreshments with customers appreciating a cuppa while they wait to be seen.
Repair Cafes started in the Netherlands a decade ago and there are 92 cafes in the UK – you might have seen Hugh Graham’s article in the Sunday Times on June 23rd – and over 1,700 cafes worldwide: https://repaircafe.org/en/visit/
Our volunteers have repaired vacuum cleaners, fixed squeaky brakes on bicycles, repaired clasps on necklaces, sewn up holes in jumpers, re-glued wooden furniture, fixed laptop computers, televisions, record players, CD players, kettles, toaster, lawn mowers and all manner of things that just need a bit of TLC, a fuse, a screw, a stich, a bit of glue.
Not all of us have a skill to share, but other tasks are helpful: setting up the hall, helping in the kitchen, greeting customers getting a cup of tea to our hardworking fixers- all of these things help our cafes run smoothly. Extra volunteers are always welcome so if you feel that you would like to be part of the team, you can find us on social media,
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/repaircafepenarth
Instagram @penarthrepaircafe, or email us – firstname.lastname@example.org
We’d love to hear from you!
Liz and Katerina