Fylde Repair Cafe helps residents breathe life back into belongings

A community project is giving residents chance to breathe some life back into their belongings at the Fylde Repair Cafe.

Monday, 18th March 2019, 1:09 pm
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 1:13 pm
A new drop-in and re-purposing group called the Fylde Repair Cafe was launched at The Grange community centre in Blackpool. Linda Hampton (left) and Claire Griffths bond over their sewing. PIC BY ROB LOCK 23-2-2019

The free drop-in session gives people chance to bring their damaged or unwanted items to the group, where volunteers are on hand to teach people how to fix or re-purpose items.

Catherine Peters, who runs the group, said: “The idea behind a Repair Cafe is not a new concept, but we provide an open house for our local communities to bring broken, unloved items to be re-purposed, fixed or donated.

“We have volunteers at the free drop-in sessions on hand to share their skills on how to fix the item.

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“The attendee is learning a skill which can be passed on again to family members or friends.

“The volunteer bank will also include community members who are already in community groups.

“Students from Blackpool and the Fylde College fashion courses and Blackpool Sixth Form IT courses are completing work placements with us and forming a fantastic part of our trusted volunteers.”

The main themes are sewing and knitting, furniture, gardening, small electrical goods, and technical sessions to learn how to install programmes, apps, and resolve phone or laptop issues.

The first session was held @thegrange community hub on Bathurst Avenue in Grange Park, with a sewing theme.

Volunteers helped residents fix a ripped dress, attach a new zip, make headband from an old t-shirt and bunting created from donated fabrics.

Catherine added: “We encourage the retired, unemployed, bereaved and lonely to benefit from the positive interactions our workshops bring, plus the additional feeling of value for sharing their vital skills with a new generation

“We aim to create multi-generational connections across those isolated communities with an eco element of reducing local landfill.

“We encourage children and families to attend all sessions.”

The project is supported by LeftCoast and Blackpool Coastal Housing.

Catherine added: “As yet we are non-funded so surviving on donations, volunteers and free venues.”

The next session will be held between 10am and 1pm on Saturday, March 23 above the cafe 80-82 Church Street in Blackpool (use the door to the right of the cafe to access the first floor).

It will have a furniture fix and re-purpose theme, where people can add handles, fix a drawer, stencil or paint their pieces of furniture.

People who attend the session can take their own furniture along or use a donated piece. For more details see the Fylde Repair Cafe Facebook page or call 07955842727.