Grey Lynn 2030 held its first Repair Cafe (repaircafe.org) on Saturday 18th Feb at the St Columba Hall on Surrey Crescent.
Repair Cafe is a concept that came out of The Netherlands in 2009 and is about repairing items rather than discarding them as well as creating community spirit by having everyone come together for a repair day where people can have their items fixed for free and learn how to repair them if they are interested.
It was a great day and the feedback from volunteers and visitors alike was overwhelmingly positive with many people wanting to know when we would be doing this again (and we will!).
We fixed 35 items in the four hours we were open, many of which were electrical items; our two electricians Jerome and Ritchie were extremely busy repairing lamps, toasters, jugs, stereos, fans, hair straighteners and even an electric lawnmower.
Our sewers Regina and Toni repaired seams and replaced zips on clothing and bags, whilst our bike mechanics Tyler and Sylvain, on loan from Adventure Cycles and Temuke Cycle Space respectively, showed kids how to repair punctures and gave many a bicycle a service to get them running well again.
Our two general repairers Joe and Phil had a myriad of items come through and repaired toys, chairs, frying pans, sewing boxes, a music box and even sharpened a hand mower which was tested out on the front lawn of the community centre.
Our administrative team of Lisa, Marianne, Betsy and Colinda greeted visitors, ensured the relevant forms were filled in so that we could track what came through for repair and directed people to the relevant repair stations.
Our wonderful sponsors Garnet Station, Tart Bakery and Starbucks provided food and coffee for our volunteers and visitors to enjoy. Mitre 10 Grey Lynn provided many of the items the repairers needed to make the repairs – glue and screws and plugs etc.
We had people come by just to see what a Repair cafe was all about and a few stayed on to help volunteer or just observe what was going on and enjoy a cup of coffee and something to eat.
Repair cafe events have also been held by other groups around Auckland in the last year – Pt Chevalier and Bayswater so far and there are several in the planning in various suburbs as well. Funding has been given in order to put some shared resources in place for any Auckland community group that wishes to host a Repair Cafe. This is a growing movement that we are proud to be involved in.