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Malvern Hills Repair Café announces an exciting new venture - extending the scope of repairs to new heights.


Every month, dozens of people bring along their stuff to be repaired: radios, toasters, lawn mowers, clocks, clothing - the list is endless. At Repair Cafés everywhere, skilled repairers fix items like this month in, month out. In Malvern, things are just about to get a bit more exciting: the provision of minor surgery and medical and dental procedures.

Colin Walls, Chair of the Management Team, explains: “Our most valuable resource is our people. We have dedicated repairers, who will turn their hand to almost anything. The team have a wide range of backgrounds and it’s great to be able to deploy their diverse range of skills. Recently, we were considering what skills were in our midst and I noticed that, among all the engineers and scientists, was a retired doctor, a dentist and a vet.”

“Yes,” says Colin, “we will be repairing humans! There are limitations to what we can achieve, of course, some because of our lack of licensing for the use of anaesthetics, but we are sure that this will not put people off.”

Trevor Bell, who enthusiastically looks after publicity, commented: “With cutbacks in the NHS and the soaring cost of private healthcare and dentistry, we are expecting a huge interest in these services.” He was asked if there really were people who might consider these services, and replied: “Yes, I’m sure there’s one born every minute."
Every month, dozens of people bring along their stuff to be repaired: radios, toasters, lawn mowers, clocks, clothing - the list is endless. At Repair Cafés everywhere, skilled repairers fix items like this month in, month out. In Malvern, things are just about to get a bit more exciting: the provision of minor surgery and medical and dental procedures.

Colin Walls, Chair of the Management Team, explains: “Our most valuable resource is our people. We have dedicated repairers, who will turn their hand to almost anything. The team have a wide range of backgrounds and it’s great to be able to deploy their diverse range of skills. Recently, we were considering what skills were in our midst and I noticed that, among all the engineers and scientists, was a retired doctor, a dentist and a vet.”

“Yes,” says Colin, “we will be repairing humans! There are limitations to what we can achieve, of course, some because of our lack of licensing for the use of anaesthetics, but we are sure that this will not put people off.”

Trevor Bell, who enthusiastically looks after publicity, commented: “With cutbacks in the NHS and the soaring cost of private healthcare and dentistry, we are expecting a huge interest in these services.” He was asked if there really were people who might consider these services, and replied: “Yes, I’m sure there’s one born every minute."

million

Well, kind of.  We're told by the BBC that the video they produced following their visit to us a couple of sessions ago has now been viewed on their website ONE MILLION TIMES !!!

 

Isn't it wonderful that the word is spreading so widely about our activities? Just in case you haven't seen the video, and want to increase the viewer numbers even further, here's a link to it.

 

Since this video has been published, and after the other recent publicity we have been lucky enough to have received, we have had contacts from across the globe... Essex, Bournemouth, Channel Islands, Boston & New Zealand. Three of these contacts have been asking for information about how we set up and how we operate.

 

Great that we are getting so much attention and wonderful for Repair Cafes everywhere.


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We have been located at the Quaker Meeting House in Orchard Road  since November last year and can announce that we shall be staying there for the foreseeable future.

 

Our initial concerns about the lack of car parking have proved to be unfounded as our volunteer and attendance figures testify.  The average number of customers each month is now consistently 50+ and our volunteers continue to wholeheartedly support us.  The QMH has slightly less space and a different configuration but everyone has adapted well and many customers seem to prefer the ambience generated by the building's oak-panelling and general feeling of calm.

 

We are proceeding well with the Repair Café Herefordshire and Worcestershire project, funded by the Big Lottery, and the first of three new Repair Cafés in Worcestershire opened last Saturday, 9 April, in Redditch.  This will be followed by Wyre Forest (but taking place in Bewdley) on 23 April and Worcester on 14 May.  RC H&W is supporting all three by paying for their registration to Repair Café International and other start-up expenses and providing two experienced MHRC repairers to help at the first two sessions.

 

We have also had interest from Queenswood Country Park near Leominster and Kington in Herefordshire.  Our contacts are currently going through the process of establishing a steering group and recruiting volunteers, particularly repairers.    This means that we have already surpassed the terms of our Big Lottery contract and will be supporting the opening of more than just one Repair Café in each county. 

 

 

Rod Howell, the lead organiser of this new Repair Café that first opened its doors at 11.00 am on Saturday 14 May has sent the following report.

 

A total of 33 volunteers shared repair, front-of-house and catering duties ensuring that the 30 customers were greeted, refreshed and shown to the relevant repairer.  With the arrival of spring, garden tool sharpening was particulary popular and the recent purchase of a grinder proved to be a wise decision.  Customers brought in a wide range of items for repair and were asked to leave their comments which included:

 

'Excellent', 'brilliant' 'lovely social occasion', 'really helpful, lovely social occasion', 'diagnosis was impressively analytical giving me confidence in the advice'

'Gill was very helpful and friendly, she fixed my two year old's giraffe which made her day!'

'First class service'

'Lots of people had a go at fixing it and after lots of investigation, the problem was found and fixed. Thanks a lot'

'Fantastic'

 

I think it can be assumed that Repair Café Worcester got off to a great start and will evolve and grow to become a regular and valued community service during the coming months.  It benefitted from winning a recent Worcester SOUP event and was awarded the door takings of £200+ which helped with the purchase of their first tools and consumables.  They have also received a generous donation of tools and associated equipment from a local charity.

 

The current venue - S.T.A.R.S Adult Day Care Centre in Stanley Road, Worcester - proved to be the ideal venue and the Repair Café will continue to open on the second Saturday in the month with the next session starting at 11.00 am on 11 June.

 

If you didn't have the chance to visit on 14 May, do go along to the June event and see what happens at a Repair Café.  You will be inspired!