Somerset’s Fixy initiative celebrates its first birthday this month, having started the repair and reuse conversation with nearly 3,000 people since its launch last May.
The celebrations coincide with this year’s, ‘The Big Fix’, a month of repair and reuse activities that started in Devon and is spreading across the UK.
The Fixy project encourages Somerset residents to repair and reuse, focusing on giving new life to electricals but also bang the drum for wider repair and reuse.
The team has attended over 80 events during the last 12 months, speaking to more than 2,900 people about the benefits of breathing new life into old items.
Many of these have been alongside or promoting Somerset’s thriving network of volunteer repair groups, highlighting their great work and encouraging more volunteers to get involved.
Fixy also runs a ‘tech take back’ service, accepting donations of unwanted or broken smart tech, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones. Donations are data-wiped and repaired as necessary by Somerset specialists DonateIT, and passed onto schools, community groups and families who need them.
Since it launched in May 2022, over 1,500 items have been reused in this way.
The Big Fix event, aims to fix and breathe new life into as many broken things as possible.
Councillor Sarah Dyke, Somerset Council Executive Member for Climate and Place said: “Repair and reuse is the way forward, to help reduce our waste and tackle climate change.
“It’s great to see many groups starting up across Somerset. I was excited to hear that a staggering 1,500 items have been rescued via Fixy’s tech take-back service.
“We are committed to a greener, more sustainable Somerset. Our recycling rate has never been higher, but we want to move the conservation on to reusing and reducing.”
The BIG FIX hopes to help people save money, not only by repairing old items but also passing on skills to fix their own items in the future.
In Somerset, Compton Dundon Repair Cafe, Glastonbury Repair Café and Taunton Repair Café are all supporting The BIG FIX 2023 by holding events. Visitors are welcome to drop in with broken household items for skilled menders to fix.
Their events are on the following dates:
• Compton Dundon, Saturday 13 May
• Taunton Repair Café, Saturday 13 May
• Glastonbury Repair Café, Saturday 20 May
However, a whole host of repair groups are available across Somerset, holding regular drop-in events.
Repair groups open in May include:
• Repair Café in the Blackdown Hills
• Repair Café Bridgwater
• Chard Community Hub
• Ilminster Share and Repair
• Langport Repair Café
• Otterford Repair Café
• Sheption Mallett Repair Café
• Wellington Repair Café
• Repair Café Wincanton
• Wivey Repair Café
A full list of dates, times and locations can be found on Somerset’s Repair Café Network webpage.
Repair groups are increasing in popularity as people are becoming more budget and environmentally conscious. They are organised and run by volunteers who offer their time and skills to help mend broken items and keep them in use for longer.
Volunteers also help greet visitors, supply tea and coffee and restock supplies of cakes and other tasty treats.
Due to its huge success, The BIG FIX event is now nationwide across the British Isles for the third time, with 60 Repair Cafés from Wales, Scotland, N. Ireland and England already registered to take part.
Last year, 50 Repair Cafés and 580 volunteers took part in The BIG FIX, mending 1,100 items and saving 31 tonnes CO2e. Over 830 cakes and biscuits were served alongside 1,000 cups of tea and coffee.