Two thousand people across Devon and the UK visited their local repair café earlier this month to have a record 2,253 broken items fixed at the largest event of its kind ever held.
Coordinated by Devon County Council, the Big Fix 2020 saw 66 Repair Cafes across the UK run simultaneous events on Saturday February 15, with a single mission – to repair as much as possible.
The Big Fix 2020 achieved its goals and then some with an army of 1,000 expert volunteer fixers giving up their Saturday morning to repair £100,000 of items with visitors consuming 1748 cups of tea and coffee and 931 slices of cake.
More than 75 per cent of the items brought for repair were successfully fixed, for a small donation.
By having these items repaired instead of buying new, visitors prevented an estimated 55,000kg of carbon emissions nationally and 4,368kg of carbon in Devon.
In Devon alone 11 Repair Cafes took part, and hundreds of volunteers repaired more than 500 items, worth an estimated £10,000, a ranging from bikes, clothing and toys to kitchen appliances, phones and clocks.
Repair Cafes in Ashburton, Bishopsteignton, Blackdown Hills, Crediton, Bradninch, Exeter, North Tawton, Plymouth and Torbay took part.
By coordinating with other UK venues Devon has helped galvanise communities across Devon, the Southwest and the UK to repair and reuse instead of discard and buy more
The day also marked the first events for two new repair cafes in Devon , in Axminster in East Devon and Great Torrington in Torridge.
But regardless of what part of the country the repair café was held, be it In Exeter, Manchester or Birmingham, each Repair Café has the same ethos – a meeting place where residents can turn up for a chat, a cup of tea and have their broken possessions repaired for free.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Devon Country Council’s cabinet member for Infrastructure Development and Waste said: “The Big Fix last year broke records; this has surpassed that. By coordinating with other UK venues Devon has helped galvanise communities across Devon, the Southwest and the UK to repair and reuse instead of discard and buy more, a mindset which is vital if we as a nation are going to reduce our carbon emissions.”
Stephan Lehner, the organiser of the Blackdown Hills Repair Café said: “The volunteers give up their time to help items from being thrown in the bin and are greatly satisfied when something can be repaired. They also enjoy meeting like-minded people in a relaxed atmosphere.”
Catherine Causley organiser of the Big Fix 2020 said: “It was a wonderful event. Every venue I visited had a real community atmosphere with like-minded people having fun, making new friends and encouraging others to see their possessions in a new light.
“The number of repairs made were astonishing and almost as impressive as the 418 slices of cakes that were consumed by visitors to Devon’s repair cafes!”