Prepare to Repair

Justin Meade with Barry (the fixer), having his meat thermometer repaired

Do you have a broken appliance, torn garment, malfunctioning clock or damaged bicycle? Maybe a favourite piece of jewelry with a broken chain, or a mechanical gadget that’s just not working? Never fear, Repair Cafe Ferny Grove is here!

Opening their first workshop on Saturday 25th June, the Repair Cafe The Grove, manned with a team of willing volunteer ‘fixers’, welcomed the steady stream of “stuff” to be fixed by local residents. From lifeless computers to blunt kitchen knives, from clothing adjustments to broken furniture,volunteers were able to repair the broken items, giving them a new lease of life!

Even with the few items that could not be fixed, the owners went away happy that they had been involved in the decision and were now more aware of the available options.

After hearing about this first workshop, the Echo News team were keen to see what this fabulous movement was about and scored an invitation to attend the July workshop. 

We were blown away by the shear number of volunteers on hand and the enthusiasm that exuded each and everyone just there as they wanted to help! From Janette who met us at the door , the sign in and Covid safety attendants, to  the dedicated fixers themselves, each and every volunteer was brimming with enthusiasm and kindness. Although the ‘Fixers’ are generally allocated repair jobs to their area of expertise, they will have a go at anything, as volunteer and tech guru Amy tells us.

’Usually I fix computers, however today I am having  a go at fixing this old clock. I’m always up for a challenge,’ exclaims Amy.

Moreover, if getting your item repaired for free wasn’t enough, visitors are treated to tea and coffee, along with some delicious homemade bakes, served up with a smile by volunteer Wally!

Anything and everything goes here. We met local resident Justin Meade who was grinning from ear to ear as his trusted meat thermometer was brought back to life by volunteer electronic expert Barry.

Emma is a volunteer that usually repairs computers however last month she turned her hand to clocks!

So what exactly is the Repair Cafe movement about? 

Repair Cafe’s promote repair as an alternative to tossing things out. Local residents can bring their broken items to fix them on the spot with the help of voluntary repairers. There is no charge for repairs but a donation to cover operating costs is encouraged. Furthermore, the willing volunteers don’t just fix items, they pass their skills on to the owners, encouraging them to join the DIY revolution in a bid to further reduce waste. Usually, the owner sits down with a helpful volunteer, and a cup of coffee to join in the process of understanding the fault, and working out a practical fix.

John Tennock, Coordinator of Repair Cafe Ferny Grove explains how important the movement is to reducing landfill.

‘We throw away vast amounts of stuff. Even things with almost nothing wrong, and which could get a new lease on life after a simple repair,’ explains John.

‘As part of the international Repair Cafe movement, Repair Cafe The Grove aims to help repair broken items, diverting them from the waste stream going to land-fill.’

So why not pop along and see how fun repairing things can be, do your part to reduce landfill, and learn some new skills?! Repair Cafe The Grove pops up on the fourth Saturday each month (except December) at the Grovely Mitchelton Scout Den, 170 Blaker Road, Keperra. The group welcomes residents from all local suburbs, including; Ferny Grove, Upper Kedron, Ferny Hills, Arana Hills, Keperra, Everton Hills, Everton Park, Mitchelton, Gaythorne, and Enoggera. For more information:

Young Isla having her favourite bracelet fixed by Tabea, a volunteer

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