Repair cafe to start in Lewes

Tony Rowell, founder of the new repair cafe. Photograph: Peter Cripps/ 26-6-19 (4)
Tony Rowell, founder of the new repair cafe. Photograph: Peter Cripps/ 26-6-19 (4)

A repair cafe is to launch in Lewes allowing the public to have broken items fixed and learn skills to mend items themselves.

The new venture will start tomorrow (Saturday, June 29), running at Landport Community Hub, on Landport Road, from 2pm to 5pm.

A group of volunteers will be on hand to mend electrical appliances, textiles, bicycles, crockery and more.

Founder Tony Rowell says he was ‘playing around with the idea’ of starting a repair cafe in August last year.

He said: “There’s a desire to do it and a need to do it so just give it a go I thought, so that’s why I decided to start one up in Lewes.

“I’m hoping that we’ll get a number of people down there and see how it goes.”

There will be no charge for repairs, although donations will be welcomed. Free tea, coffee and cake will also be available.

Mr Rowell says there are a number of aspects to starting the initiative, including reducing the number items going to landfill, helping those who cannot afford to have items fixed, encouraging people to do their own repairs and bringing the community together in a new way.

He said: “We throw away piles of stuff in the UK, including things which have very little wrong with them, and which could easily be used again after a simple repair.

“Many people lack the confidence to fix things. Repair cafe wants to change all that.”

He says that above all it ‘wants to show how much fun repairing things can be and how easy it often is’.

He added: “We want the repair cafe to be a relaxed and friendly place where people can discover the repairing skills people have in their neighbourhood.”

The new initiative has received support from Lewes Town Council. The Repair Cafe Foundation and Chailey Repair Cafe have also provided advice.

Following tomorrow’s launch, it is planned that the repair cafe will run monthly, except in August, at the Landport Community Hub. Future sessions this year are to take place on July 20, September 21, October 19, November 16 and December 21.