Church hosts town’s first Repair Café

A groupu of people sitting and smiling for the camera.
Repair Café volunteers gather for a photo in the church hall.
 on March 1, 2020

Event to reduce waste, bring neighbours together

St. John the Evangelist, Port Hope is hosting the town’s first Repair Café on Feb. 22. The church is organizing the event along with Port Hope for the Future (PHFTF), a local citizens group that is concerned about climate change.

People are encouraged to bring their broken items from home, and volunteers with expertise will be on hand to repair them. Anything broken is welcome, including toasters, lamps, hair dryers, clothes, bikes, toys and crockery.

St. John’s and PHFTF hope the event will help reduce waste. “We throw away piles of stuff in Canada, even things that practically have nothing wrong with them and could easily be used again after a simple repair,” says Penny Nutbrown, the church’s Sunday School teacher and organizer of the event. “Unfortunately, many people have forgotten that they can have things repaired. Repair Café wants to change all that.”

Repair Café is also meant to put neighbours in touch with each other and to discover that know-how and practical skills can be found close to home, she says. “If you repair a bike or a pair of trousers with an unfamiliar neighbour, you look at that person in a different light the next time you run into them on the street. Jointly making repairs can lead to pleasant contacts in the neighborhood.” Repairs can save money and resources and can help minimize CO2 emissions, she adds.

The Repair Café concept arose in the Netherlands in 2009. The Repair Café Foundation provides support to local groups around the world wishing to start their own Repair Café. The foundation also supports the Repair Café in Port Hope.

St. John’s and PHFTF have high hopes for the first Repair Café in Northumberland County. If all goes well, it may become a seasonal event. The event on Feb. 22 is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will be held at St. John’s parish hall, 33 Pine St., Port Hope.


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