Chiswick Repair Café celebrates its first birthday

Image above: Volunteers at the Chiswick Repair Café

2,400 hours of time from 43 volunteers, repairing 433 items, saving 1.2 tonnes from landfill

The team of volunteers who run the Chiswick Repair Café celebrated their first birthday on Saturday. They have hosted nine events and during that time have registered 619 repairs and fixed 70% of them.

They reckon they have saved 1.2 tonnes from landfill, and saved 10.6 tons of Carbon emissions (using the Farnham Repair Café’s carbon calculator), not to mention increasing the happiness quotient of the Chiswick population whose prized possessions have been lovingly restored to them.

To put their achievement into perspective, says Charlotte Bullock, one of the organisers, they are proud to have saved the equivalent of 44,000 miles’ worth of carbon emissions from driving.

I am not sure the happiness quotient is measurable, but I am very happy my favourite handbag has been restored to use, at minimal cost, and another of my household is very glad to have a much loved shirt fit to wear and party in another day.

So satisfying to have a much loved possession restored

There is something very satisfying about getting something mended. Yes there is the environmental benefit of course, but it also has to do with sentimentality, nostalgia, not letting go of an object which has warm and positive associations. There is a definite feelgood factor to it all. (I don’t care if my old handbag is tatty Marie Kondo, it sparks Joy, alright?)

“We are delighted that the Chiswick Repair Café has become such a popular community initiative in just one year” says Charlotte and her team.

“It is inspiring that our event is making the repair of household goods more accessible to so many people, making it easier for people to be part of a more sustainable and less wasteful economy. We have been supported by our generous and talented volunteers.

“We look forward to continuing to provide an engaging community experience as well as a useful service to Chiswick locals.”

The team will tackle more or less anything, and have encountered “196 types of items from jackets and trousers, nutribullets and toasters, picture frames and teddies. We’ve also sharpened 162 knives and tools.”

They estimate they have saved people £29,155 (estimated cost of replacement of repaired goods).

Organisers Charlotte, Jill, Kate and Marie-Claire say they are hugely grateful to their army of volunteers: 43 volunteers have given 2,400 hours of their time to cater for the 675 visitor who have been to the Repair Café, held at Christ Church on Turnham Green once a month on Saturdays from 10.30am – 1pm.

The next session will be on Saturday 16 November.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar