Repair Café in Barnet helps move away from the ‘throw-away society’

Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers visited a Repair Café at the weekend to meet people who mend items for the public at no cost so they can carry on being used.

The event, sponsored by the North London Waste Authority (NLWA) group of local councils, fixed electrical equipment, clothes, computers, jewellery and bicycles free of charge for residents who came along to the Wesley Hall community centre in High Barnet, run by Barnet Brookside Methodist Church.

There was a mix of professional NLWA-funded repairers to fix bicycles and volunteers for other items.

The church hopes to make it a regular event with volunteers helping to change attitudes in the local community and get people throwing away less and mending instead.

“With increasing public concern about waste, I was delighted to see that this repair café was so popular. The NLWA and the church are keen to see more of them in Barnet in the future," said Theresa, who is also the Environment Secretary.

“Many people do not want to throw items away when they break, but it can be difficult to find people with the skills to repair them.

“I was particularly pleased to see the repairers were also talking people through the mending process, so that they can carry them out themselves in the future, or upcycle items.

“Many thanks to NLWA, and the volunteers at Wesley Hall ,for making this waste reduction initiative happen.”

Repair Cafés last for four hours but are not a place just to drop off broken items. They provide an opportunity for people to interact with repair specialists, learn skills and understand how items have been made.