Woking Repair Café returns to Andy’s Community Café in St Andrew’s Church, Goldsworth Park, on Saturday (October 14). 

Volunteers will offer free repairs for electrical, mechanical, furniture, toys, clothing and textiles.

The Repair Café was launched by Woking Environment Action (WEAct) at Andy’s Café in June. 

“More than 40 people brought items for repair,” recalled Patrick Coad, community and youth worker at St Andrew’s Church, Goldsworth Park. 

“The feedback from both visitors and volunteers was extremely positive.”

Since then the Repair Café has been to three other churches: St Michael’s in Sheerwater, St Mark’s in Westfield and Trinity Methodist. 

Janey Jux of WEAct said: “Across the four events we have now held we have had 213 items brought in. We were able to fix 70 per cent of them. Our data now shows we have saved 336kg of items going into the waste system.”

Janey explained the first event at Andy’s was the result of months of planning. 

“It was back in January that Woking Borough Council asked WEAct if we would be interested in starting a repair café in Woking.

“We first visited a well-established repair café in Farnham before recruiting our volunteer fixers and a front-desk team. 

“We asked for volunteers on local social media and through an article in the News and Mail.”

Ellen Pirie, also of WEAct, revealed: “Our initial intention was run all our cafes in Woking town centre, but the feedback from volunteers was we would be more accessible for people if we ran in a number of neighbourhood areas of Woking. 

“St Andrew’s Church contacted us to say they had been thinking of starting their own Repair Café, so we teamed up with them as our first venue. 

“Then other Woking churches contacted us, so we currently rotate around four venues across Woking.

“It was nerve-racking to know how much to do, as we wanted to be busy but not to have lots of people disappointed that they couldn’t get in. 

“On all our publicity for the first event at Andy’s Community Café we asked people to email us with what they were planning to bring. This worked well for us as we had 32 enquiries by the previous evening.

“Then on the day, more than 40 visitors arrived in a steady flow and our volunteer fixers enjoyed the challenges of trying to fix an assortment of items.”

The items repaired included electrical objects such as vacuum cleaners, lamps, coffee grinders, a CD player, radio, toaster and hairdryer. 

Among other items they fixed were a chair and coffee table, various items of clothing, a handbag strap, a doll with a broken arm and a toy helicopter with a broken rotor blade.

Janey Jux added: “Our fixers have great skills and are riotously enthusiastic. 

“They also gave advice to visitors and kindly agreed to take a few items home to finish off. 

“Some items brought to us were declared unrepairable, often because they were glued up so strongly we just couldn’t get into them.”

Only items that can be carried by one person will be accepted at Woking Repair Café on Saturday, when the team will also be trialling the repair of computers. 

Petrol-driven items cannot be brought for safety reasons. 

If possible, send an email beforehand with details of what you wish to take – email [email protected] 

The venue, Andy’s Community Café, is within St Andrew’s Church at Goldsworth Park Centre, near Waitrose, where there is free parking for three hours.