Share and repair
Sharing and repairing possessions are great ways to get people spending less, wasting less and connecting more. From small scale share or repair initiatives among close-knit groups to open community events, you can help people in your community access to the things they need for less.
Read on for share ideas or click here to skip to ideas on repair.
How many of us have bought items we rarely use or only need for a short time? Whether it’s the latest kit to try a new sport or hobby on a whim, or buying tools for a DIY project never to be used again, sharing offers a greener solution.
We have listed a few examples of relevant community initiatives below – do email us web-links to others you think we should add.
There are different styles of share initiatives – from online swaps and loans to physical libraries lending a range of items, like SHARE – a Library of Things in Frome.
Want to help your community get involved? Try promoting share options, get together with friends or club members to create your own share group, or take inspiration from others to do something bigger for your local area. Read on for details.
Help boost share activity is through promotion. Pass on helpful links and sharing ideas from our website to encourage people you know to get involved. You can do this in your club newsletter or website if you have one, or on social media such as Facebook. Word of mouth works well too.
Support sharing opportunities. There are online communities offering to share/loan items and others which give away items for free. Find your local online sites for sharing or giving away items.
Create your own simple sharing group
The easiest way to create your own share group is with friends, family, colleagues or other members of a community club. There are various ways you can pass on information about items you would like to borrow or offer to share – a community notice board, closed (private) Facebook group or email group. Don’t become a target to thieves. Avoid sharing too much information with people you don’t know or trust. Keep your address private except to those you are happy to share with.
Be inspired to create a share library
SHARE – a Library of Things in Frome hosts a wide range of items members can borrow for a small charge. SHARE is a partnership project between Frome Town Council, Edventure Frome – school for community enterprise, Cheese and Grain charity and Sustainable Frome. They have learnt a lot in setting up the project and have put together resources and support packages for people who are passionate about starting similar sharing initiatives.
Depending on the interests of your community group and space available, you may wish to focus on particular types of items. For example, toy libraries are great for groups supporting children and young people; gardening clubs may be interested in saving money by sharing more expensive tools, like hedge trimmers or shredders; hobby and craft clubs share equipment and gadgets to help other enthusiasts.
Here are some examples of toy libraries:
Wellington Toy Library
CLOWNS Toy Library
Jack in the Box Toy Library sessions, at The Bridge Children’s Centre, Frome
SHARE – a Library of Things has a selection of toys and other items for children.
Read on for more about repair initiatives or go to Community Waste Action main page and other ways to help your community
We may not be living through the blitz but the war-time spirit of make do and mend is alive and well in Somerset.
Despite the pressures of a throw-away society, many people are learning and sharing the skills that allow them to make what they need or do the simple repairs to save money and avoid throwing away items. Repair events are fantastic for bringing people together, sharing skills and offering practical help where the cost of commercial repair is prohibitive.
Many small repairs are easy to do yourself with a bit of know-how. The chances are you can find people in your community with different skills who can help. There is lots of help online too. See our Join the Repair Revolution page for more information.
Here are some ways to get involved:
Promote the benefits of repair and where to find help.
Tell people about our Join the Repair Revolution page which has ideas how to get involved and helpful links for online repair guides. You could add a quick link on social media or a write a short article for your local club/parish newsletter or website, if you have these.
Spread the word about local repair initiatives.
If you’re holding a community event, you could print out a few copies of the Repair Revolution handout (PDF 583 KB) to give out.
Run repair sessions for your community
Whether your repair session is a one off event or a regular event, there are examples to help inspire you.
Repair Café started in the Netherlands and it has helped repair go global, with over 1000 Repair Cafés around the world and many UK groups running sessions under the Repair Café branding (see map), such as Tiverton Repair Café run by Sampford Peverell and District Sustainable Villages.
Repair Café has put together useful resources to help more groups get started around the world – SWP has purchased a copy of the “Repair Café how to toolkit” which is available free to Somerset groups on request (terms and conditions apply). If you would like a copy, please contact us quoting “Repair Café toolkit” in the subject line. This does not commit you to running an event.
Interested in Repair Cafés? You may also like to become a Facebook follower of Repair Café UK or local groups such as Tiverton Repair Café. Use the search facility to find the Repair Café nearest you.
Other independently-branded regular repair schemes take place around the country.
Repair @ SHARE weekly repair sessions take place at SHARE – a library of things in Frome on Saturdays.
SHARE also has a skills-share notice board for local people to offer or ask for help.
The Repair Academy is a social enterprise start-up in Wiltshire dedicated to reducing waste, providing skills and training for young people and offering affordable goods to low-income households.
Adhoc repair initiatives can pop up as a one off, irregular or infrequent sessions.
Men’s Sheds is an organisation which provides a place where men feel at home and pursue practical interests which can often involve repair. Across Somerset and beyond, the number of Men’s Sheds is growing along with the potential to work with them on repair initiatives. For example, Men’s Shed at the Balsam Centre, Wincanton has worked with a number of local groups by sharing their practical skills fixing things and making things.
Want to get involved or ask for help with your repair initiative? Find a Men’s Shed near you.
Environmental groups are another source of inspiration. For example, Green Wedmore hosted a repair session as part of its ReSkill Wedmore initiatives.