Share and Repair

Third Sector • Bath and North East Somerset

Share and Repair is a fast-growing charity in Bath and North East Somerset that helps communities reduce carbon and waste, to improve the local environment and save people money.

  • Library of Things shop on the high street.
  • Year 6 school workshops about reducing waste.
  • HomeKIT programme to repair and re-home electrical items.

Our story

Share and Repair is a small but fast-growing charity in Bath & NES that started 6 years ago. Our aim is to help local people and communities reduce carbon, waste and landfill, to improve the environment we live in and save money. We do this through:
- 10 Repair Cafes
- 1 Library of Things
- Regular HOW TO community workshops
- Hundreds of school workshops
- Rehoming reconditioned household items

Our repair sessions and cafes offer affordable mending in the wider community. On a Saturday morning, somewhere in Bath & NES, you will find a community space occupied by volunteer repairers and organisers with people bringing their household items to be repaired on a 'give what you can basis'. People watch and learn from our volunteers, who empower and inspire future repairing. We have worked on over 5,000 items and mended 71%.

Our Library of Things shop on the high street – a retail space given to us by the Council – houses over 700 items which people can borrow for a small fee. Around 95% of these items are donated. We encourage 'try before you buy' for items such as an air fryer to avoid buying something you won't use. We have grown over 63% year on year and the number of users has grown to almost 1800 people.

We teach people the skills needed to maintain items and keep them for longer. HOW TO workshops include power tools, bike maintenance, sewing and reducing energy - making a draft excluder for example. We run these workshops regularly from various locations around the area.

We also deliver a programme of school workshops/lessons to Year 6 students about how to reduce waste. The lessons are structured around sharing and (hands on!) repairing as well as introducing the children to concept of the circular economy and the importance of rare natural resources that go into phones and electronic devices.

HomeKIT is our latest big initiative, started in 2021, to provide essential home electricals to people in low-income households. Our aim is to revive and rehome pre-loved household items for the benefit of those in need, by taking donations of small appliances and then repairing or reconditioning them so they are safe to use again. Items are then given to our local partner charities to distribute to those in need.

Our advice

Networking is important. We are a member of the Repair Cafe Foundation, Restart, ShareFest and The UK Community Repair Network, which helps us share and compare policy and good practice, and support the development of further sharing and repairing opportunities across the UK.

We make lasting environmental and social impact by changing people's behaviour through practical action, especially through our schools work with 10/11 year olds. We are also, critically, saving families money and space through repair and reuse, which further reinforces these kinds of activities.

Community power is the catalyst for wider change. We deliver all these programmes with only 3 full-time equivalent staff but with over 250 volunteers!

Our metrics

Repair sessions and cafes – items seen and proportion fixed.
Library of Things – number of items loaned and money saved from not buying new.
HOW TO Workshops – number of people enabled to do more.
Schools workshops/lessons – number of participating schools and students involved.
HomeKIT – number of items rehoused.

Feeling inspired? Discover more about this story...

Response to climate crisis

Mitigation & Adaptation

Reach

Area

Organisation

Third Sector, less than 9 people

Shared by

Lorna Montgomery

Updated Feb, 2024

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