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Forest Row’s Repair Café Celebrates First Birthday

Forest Row’s Repair Café Celebrates First Birthday

Green-minded members of Forest Row’s repair café have been celebrating a successful first 12 months in operation of the innovative programme. So far, the café through a team of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers has waged war on waste and tackled the throwaway society to ensure that more than 250 household items have avoided languishing in landfill.

What do you do when your jeans need patching? Your clock has stopped working, or you have no idea why your kettle will not boil? Look no further than the monthly repair café
project at Forest Row’s community centre which has proved to be a huge success, in the first 12 months alone, more than 265 objects from visitors have been saved from landfill with a repair success rate of 71%.

More than 20 volunteers offer their skills and expertise, ranging from bike repairs, sewing, darning and carpentry, to electronic repairs, clocks and even book repairs. The services are provided free of charge, but the idea is, it is hoped that the expert repairers pass on their skills to those visiting and encourage them to have a go at fixing things for themselves rather than just throwing items away.

Speaking about the café’s social benefits to Forest Row and the wider community, Sara Smart, Forest Row Repair Café’s co-founder and co-ordinator, said: “The atmosphere is
always buzzing and brings together all ages of the community. Some of our volunteer experts are retired with incredible skills and knowledge, that are not otherwise being utilised, so seeing them share this is incredibly encouraging.”

Hannah Jebb, a volunteer at Forest Row Repair Café explains that following the closure
of Forest Row’s recycling centre, and the increasing awareness of plastic waste the café
can step in, she says: “When we throw things away they go to landfill or to be incinerated,
and we simply cannot continue to dispose of things at the rate we are. The repair café
provides a solution in our throwaway society.”
Local businesses have helped support the scheme by donating tasty treats including cakes, bread and fruit to fuel the volunteers, as well as selling the refreshments to the café’s visitors as they wait to see an expert repairer. In the past 12 months, the team of expert repairers have put their minds to repairing a variety of everyday household items amongst them; bicycles, clocks, clothes and electrical appliances.

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Repair Instead Of Replace

Is 2019 the year that you repair instead of replace? The Forest Row Repair Café is held on the third Saturday of every month (excluding the month of December), between 10am – 1pm with last orders taken at 12.30pm in Forest Row Community Centre, Hartfield Road, Forest Row RH18 5DZ. For more information, call Sara Smart on: 01342 778061 or visit:

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