ON HAND TO HELP:
Beechworth’s Chris Bacon (front) and Whorouly siblings Nikita and Hughie Stevenson were busy fixing bikes at the first repair café in Beechworth last Saturday. The concept that started in the Netherlands nine years ago provides a service for people to have equipment and household items fixed by volunteers. The Beechworth Repair Café is the twelfth to be established in Victoria and will take place every second Saturday each month.
DRILLS buzzed, tools clicked and clacked while sewing machines hummed away at Beechworth’s first repair café held in the Quercus Oregon Hall last Saturday.
The concept that started in the Netherlands nine years ago gives people a chance to get together and have household items fixed by volunteers to save what might otherwise be thrown out.
Among some treasured pieces spruced up to work again was Emily Macaulay’s great grandfather’s gardening shears.
“We couldn’t bear to throw them out and kept using them but they needed a fix,” her mother Rani Macauley said.
A frequent visitor to Beechworth, Benalla’s Andrea Finck gave a helping hand help too.
Ms Finck was one of seven skilled volunteers on the day, bringing her sewing machine for mending clothes.
Volunteer and mechanical whiz Howard Moreton helped repair a sewing machine for local resident Sacha Yeomans.
“I’ve been waiting for the repair café to start,” Ms Yeomans said.
The newcomer who moved from Melbourne nine months ago said she used one when living there.
“Friends use them in the UK and volunteer too,” she said.
Quercus Beechworth manager Ms Doughty said the project added to the town’s sustainability initiatives and helped reduce landfill too.
“It helps people learn new skills from volunteers as well,” she said.
Held every second Saturday of the month, the next repair café will be on October 13.
Ms Doughty said it would continue next year too if demand remained.
The café has become one of more than 12 across Victoria and hundreds around the world.
FIXED: Beechworth volunteer Stuart Smith spruced up Emily Macaulay’s great grandfather’s garden shears at the first repair café held in the town at Quercus last Saturday.