Portsmouth Repair Cafe boss says now is the 'perfect time' to learn new skills

THERE’S no better time than now to learn how to fix things.

Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 1:13 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st April 2020, 5:42 pm

That is the message from the organiser of Portsmouth’s Repair Cafe, who is hoping that people take time to pick up new skills during the coronavirus pandemic.

Clare Seek has been running the repair cafe – which meets once a month – for two years, and has seen thousands of people walk through the doors with household items in need of repair.

From ripped clothes to broken TVs and bicycle punctures, almost anything can be fixed from the comfort of your own home, she says.

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Clare Seek, right, at the Portsmouth Repair Cafe. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (200419-1)

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‘This is the perfect time to learn how to fix things,’ she said.

‘A lot of people in Portsmouth don't know how to repair simple things like shirt buttons, so normally end up chucking broken stuff out.

‘But with so many shops closed that just isn’t going to work at the moment – people need to learn these skills.’

Denise Taylor fixing a curtain with her sewing machine. Picture: Ian Hargreaves (200419-3)

The repair cafe will be posting tutorials for basic fixing on its Facebook page.

But Clare, who also spearheads the Plastic Free Portsmouth campaign, says there are plenty of resources online for people looking to get started.

She said: ‘YouTube has loads of videos and ways you can fix things around your home.

‘We want to teach people how to make do with what they have, especially in these difficult times.’

Although social distancing measures are still in place, Clare says people’s neighbours may have the equipment they need.

‘A lot of people don’t even own a sewing kit these days,’ she said.

‘But some of their elderly neighbours might have stuff like that, so it’s worth popping a note through their letterbox.

‘It helps you to get started with repairing things while also keeping them in touch with the outside world.

‘Share your equipment and share your knowledge with one another – you might be surprised at how much you can achieve.’

For more information and to follow the tutorials being posted online, search for the Repair Cafe Portsmouth page on Facebook.