Repair Cafe's 1st birthday celebrations and launch of "The Borrowers" LB Library of Things project

On Saturday 23 March, Totally Leighton Buzzard celebrated its 1st birthday of holding free monthly community Repair Cafe events in the town. The group also officially launched its new "Library of Things" project - "The Borrowers" and welcome everyone's views on what items would be helpful to borrow. Watch the group's short Library of Things video and complete the Library of Things wishlist survey.
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Totally Leighton Buzzard and the Repair Cafe Leighton Buzzard have had a fantastic year, since its repair initiative was launched in March 2023 by Susan Lousada, the Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire and want to thank everyone in the town for their support in attending our local repair events.

On Saturday, the group marked its milestone with a delicious celebratory cake made by local business, FG Bakery. We held our regular monthly fixing repair event in the morning, followed by an AGM when we fittingly watched the Oscar winning documentary short film "The Last Repair Shop". Items repaired on Saturday included a radiator, metal box, old stereo system and a heritage French doll - demonstrating the skills of all the fixers.

In an age when people seem to join together less and less in person, the Repair Cafe Leighton Buzzard is an amazing antidote and is all about being part of a real community. It is priceless to see the joy on people's faces when their items are repaired and as much as repairing people's stuff we also play a part in fixing other aspects of life by building connections.

Repair Cafe Leighton Buzzard 1st birthday cake brownie made by FG BakeryRepair Cafe Leighton Buzzard 1st birthday cake brownie made by FG Bakery
Repair Cafe Leighton Buzzard 1st birthday cake brownie made by FG Bakery

That's why we are delighted to be part of the The Jo Cox Foundation "More in Common Network" and part of the repair revolution led by The Restart Project and The Repair Cafe Foundation. We are one of more than 500 locally led Repair Cafe groups in UK alone, so part of a true movement of change. This is seen by the Keep Britain Tidy group's call to change people's perceptions of how we manage waste and focus more on reduce, repair and reuse initiatives.

The group celebrated the following achievements:

  • Holding 11 monthly repair events supported by group of 24 fantastic volunteers
  • Worked on over 348 powered items repaired (not including unpowered items which we also repair) of which 190 have been fixed and 87 are repairable
  • Prevented over 425 kg in waste and prevented over 2163 kg in CO2 emissions
  • Planted the equivalent of 36 tree seedlings for 10 years

The group have also participated in the Big Fix month, Great Big Green Week and signed the UK Repair and Reuse Declaration which was also signed by Andrew Selous MP and which is being tabled as a motion by Central Bedfordshire Council. During 2023, it also participated in the All Saints Christmas Tree Festival, organised a third annual local Fun Palaces event and a "Go Red for Dyslexia" day event and Volunteering Fair.

Repair Cafe Leighton Buzzard's environmental impactRepair Cafe Leighton Buzzard's environmental impact
Repair Cafe Leighton Buzzard's environmental impact

Looking forward, the group also officially launched its "Library of Things" project - called "The Borrowers". This aims to set up a space in the town to borrow items for a small membership and borrowing fee. A Library of Things is just like a library of books but provides chance to borrow everyday items instead. There are more than 50 similar initiatives around the country and we think Leighton Buzzard should have one too. Watch our launch video here. - and most importantly complete the group's survey at Linktree to indicate what is on your wishlist of items to borrow.

You can find out more at upcoming Repair Cafe events which are held on 4th Saturday of month at the town's Royal British Legion club on West Street. Or alternatively come and speak to the group at the upcoming May Fayre on 6 May and at a Great Big Green Week action day at Leighton Buzzard Market on 15 June. And don't forget to register for our upcoming events at Repair Cafe

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