Ashburton Repair Café, L to R: Jill Elliott, Jude Cranmer, Michael Cranmer

The BIG FIX is back!

Ross Tibbles
Ross Tibbles

The BIG FIX, returns next month and it has one aim: to fix and breathe new life into as many broken things as possible.   

The BIG FIX is an annual event led by Devon County Council, and returns on Saturday, 14th May, after a two-year break.  

Skilled menders, fixers, tinkerers and tailors from all over the country will give their time and expertise for free to help fix items that might have otherwise been thrown away.  

Anything: broken clocks, jewellery, clothing and textiles, gardening equipment, broken electronics can be brought for repair.  

Other volunteers help in organising the visitors and running the café, supplying teas and coffees and stocking them with gastronomic home-made treats such as cheese straws and lemon drizzle cake.  

Excitingly, due to its previous success in Devon, the project is for the second time going nationwide. Cafés from Devon, Wiltshire, Sussex and Buckinghamshire are already involved, with many more expected to join.  Dozens of Repair Cafés around the country will be held at the same time, with one goal: to fix as many items as possible.  

You can find a full list of Repair Cafés in Devon by visiting the Recycle Devon website www.recycledevon.org/reuse/repair-cafe and Repair Cafés nationwide through www.repaircafe.org/en/visit/. There is no booking required, just complete a form about your item on arrival. The BIG FIX hopes to help people save money, not only by repairing old items but also through future-proofing by teaching you how to fix the items yourself.  

All of those involved are on a mission to prevent items from being thrown away. Every day we throw away thousands of items which, if given a little attention, could be easily repaired.  As it becomes increasingly more convenient to replace items rather than repair them, the importance of these events grows.

They could have a large impact in reducing the environmental effect of waste.  Sue, who has helped organise six sessions at the Repair Café of High Bickington and Atherington, said: “As a community we are doing our best to address the need to save resources. We know from recent reports that our planet, and life as we know it, is endangered by the climate crisis. The Repair Café is one way in which communities can come together and make a small but positive difference.”  

‘Although the main aims of the Repair Café are to keep household items in use and to hand on mending skills, it also serves as a place for villagers to meet and mix; much needed after all the months of isolation during lockdown.  

‘People pop in for cake and coffee. Everyone involved speaks passionately of how great an opportunity this is for the Repair Cafés to reopen their doors to the public, after the long closures of the pandemic.

‘After the isolation of the lockdowns, this provides an opportunity for residents to enjoy some interaction with a visit to a Repair Café. You don’t even need to bring something to repair!”  

Councillor Roger Croad, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Communities and Equality said: “Not only does repairing items enable their re-use and save them from disposal but re-using is critical in the fight against climate change. If you want to reduce waste and your carbon footprint, join your community at your local Repair Café and take part in The BIG FIX 2022!”  

Visit us on Facebook at The BIG FIX 2022 to see if  your local Repair Café is taking part in The BIG FIX 2022.