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J’AIME DECEMBER 2021

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F E AT U R E<br />

Repair and share alike<br />

DID YOU KNOW ABOUT THESE LOCAL GROUPS AIMING TO HELP US REDUCE UNNECESSARY WASTE<br />

AND REPAIR, REUSE AND RECYCLE AS MUCH AS WE CAN? KATY EDGINGTON FINDS OUT MORE<br />

With the eyes of the world on the UK<br />

last month as world leaders and activists<br />

gathered in Glasgow for the UN Climate<br />

Change Conference (COP26), there’s<br />

never been a more important time for us<br />

all to do our bit for the environment.<br />

We all know the three Rs - reduce,<br />

reuse, recycle - that can help us be more<br />

environmentally friendly: reducing what<br />

we buy and use, reusing what we have or<br />

passing it on to someone else who can use<br />

it, and recycling our waste where possible.<br />

A vital step in that chain is repairing<br />

objects that are faulty or damaged, so<br />

there’s no need to replace them and they<br />

can be used again.<br />

That’s all very well, but not everyone is<br />

comfortable getting out the toolkit and taking a<br />

screwdriver to their vacuum cleaner or threading up<br />

a needle to stitch a ripped seam.<br />

That’s where repair cafés come in. This worldwide<br />

phenomenon is said to have started in the late 2000s<br />

in the Netherlands and since then repair cafés have<br />

AN OLD RECORD PLAYER<br />

GETS A NEW LEASE OF LIFE<br />

THE CAFE IS OPEN ONCE A MONTH<br />

sprung up across continents.<br />

Pam Beale is the driving force behind Lichfield<br />

Repair and Share Café. Set up around three years<br />

ago, it started off under the direction of Kate Gomez<br />

of the popular local history blog Lichfield Lore,<br />

but Pam is now responsible for all the organising<br />

and promoting the monthly café at Curborough<br />

Community Centre.<br />

Lichfield Repair and Share Café is a group of<br />

likeminded people operating under the umbrella<br />

of Transition Lichfield, an organisation that brings<br />

together different elements of the community to<br />

support the local economy and for the good of each<br />

member group. So, how does it work?<br />

The Café’s drop-in sessions are open to all visitors<br />

who can bring an item or items for repair.<br />

There are currently around 12 repairers who are<br />

part of the group, all of whom volunteer their time,<br />

so skills will vary depending on who’s available for<br />

each session.<br />

“We have around six people who can do odd jobs<br />

and repair electricals, a few sewers and crafters who<br />

can do repairs, and someone whose expertise is<br />

marquetry and carpentry who also sharpens tools,”<br />

explains Pam.<br />

“We try to skillshare so that people can learn from<br />

10 www.jaimemagazine.com

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