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Repair Cafe News

The Old Courthouse, 4 Station Street, Maesteg.

Our Repair Cafe went too well,some may say. We got in a load of technical repairs, kitchen and garden appliances and clocks. While upstairs there were small mechanical repairs, downstairs John Lewis was inundated with electrical repairs.

We need more technical people to make this an ongoing success for the County, especially people with some electrical knowledge. It's only a couple of hours a month on a Saturday morning and the reward for your skill is seeing people go away happy with something that was deemed economically unrepairable.

The residents of Bridgend are extremely grateful when they come to us, please ensure this Repair Cafe continues by coming to help us next April 23rd.

We also issue Tempo Time Credits to volunteers which give, among many other things, free entry to Rugby venues and Cinemas.

In the war time spirit of “Make do and Mend”

The Welsh Government is concerned about the amount of household items that are ending up in landfill sites. To send defective items to landfill, when it may be possible to fix them is a waste of resources. They take up space in landfill sites and to make a replacement has a monetary cost, to the individual, uses up additional resources and adds the production of gasses that harm the environment. The Welsh Government is encouraging the setting up of “Repair Cafes” across Wales. An organization called “Repair Café Wales” has been set up. Their website is:

Repair Cafes are similar to the Repair Shop that in on TV but it is run by  volunteers rather than professionals. But the aims are the same; to bring back items into use, that would be otherwise be thrown out. Bridgend County Council got in touch with BAVO (Bridgend Association of Voluntary Organizations). Who in turn got in touch with us at Maesteg Shedquarters to see if we would help in setting a Repair Café in Maesteg.

The Shed had a meeting and we agreed to help. We felt the aims of the Repair Café fitted in with the ethos of a shed. That is to make use of the skills accumulated by its members over their lifetime and to help them to gain new skills. It also fits in with another aim of the Shed: to be of use and active in the community.

If you are not confident in making repairs, or handy with tools, there are a wide range of volunteering opportunities within a Repair Café. Yes we would need people with skills in repairing whatever objects would be brought in but there are jobs for “meeters and greeters”. There is quite a bit of paper work and record keeping to be entered onto a computer. It is called a Repair Café so there are jobs for people to make teas and coffees and to make people feel welcome.   

A date has been set to run the first “Café” on the Saturday 22/01/22 from 10:00am to 1:00pm at The Court House, 4 Station Street, Maesteg CF349AL to see how things go.
To get a flavor of a “cafe” in action, in particular to see how the administration is carried out. Two representatives of Shedquarters and a representative of BAVO visited the Repair Café held in the Scout Hall, Cowbridge, on Saturday 20/11/21. We were given a warm welcome and they were happy to answer all our questions and explained the paper work.

People soon started to arrive. In the time we were there we saw a drill being PAT tested, it was being to be donated to someone whose drill couldn’t be repaired. Two Vacuum cleaners turned up. As did an Iron, that needed its cable changing and a printer that the paper kept jamming. As it was explained to us some things cannot be repaired sometimes because of the way the object was manufactured. They were telling us about an electric bike that developed a fault with its battery. The battery was inside the frame of the bike and then the space filled with a glue like substance that set hard, so the battery could not be changed. Or there may be difficulty in obtaining spare parts.   

On the BBC program “Morning Live” that was broadcast on the 25/11/21 at 9:15am  there was an interesting piece on the Repair Café movement. The message they gave out was that if you would like to put you skills to good use, or if you would like to volunteer your time. Get in touch with the Repair Café Organization to find your nearest café. If there is not one near you, think about starting one up yourself.