“Who’s watched the BBC’s Repair Shop?” That’s the question Clare Seek, founder of Repair Café Portsmouth, asks community groups that she’s visiting. We all love a story about breathing life into treasured possessions, but at its heart is an essential message for us today; the need to make our things last longer.
So much human effort and natural resources go into producing our everyday objects, that it’s important that we try to fix rather than ditch. But it can be hard; many of us lack the skills and there might not be many businesses to fix things like kettles, toasters, costume jewellery, and toys. Clare and the Repair Cafe team have been trying to change that. They have been holding events in Southsea Library and in Fratton, where volunteers sit with visitors and try to fix broken items.
They’re now expanding, having formed a charity and secured a free unit in Cascades shopping centre to increase make the service more accessible. The new hub will also house Portsmouth Library of Things, a project that will help you borrow rather than buy. You’ll be able to share infrequently used items such as DIY, gardening, cooking and craft tools, items for events and hobbies. By sharing and repairing our items so they last longer, we can greatly reduce waste and our carbon footprints, as well as saving ourselves money and space, so it’s a win win.
A Library of Things is a place where you can borrow things that you don’t use everyday. You can borrow all types of things and you won’t have to work out how you’re going to afford it or where to store them!
- DIY, gardening or craft tools to help with a project
- a gazebo, projector, spare table or tea urn for a party or community event
- baby items for visiting friends and family
- ‘try before you buy’ – a waffle maker, bread maker
- cake tins, a chocolate fountain for a birthday celebration
- a thermal imaging camera to work out where you’re losing heat from your home
- or maybe you’re going camping and need some extra kit
You’ll be able to become a member for as little as £1 per year and then borrow items with suggested donation amounts, for a week at a time.
They team would love your help with donations for the library, volunteering and raising funds through their current Crowdfunder for the new hub – you can find links to this below.