NewsUCA Farnham

Farnham Repair Café saves tens of thousands of pounds for local residents

The Farnham Repair Café (FRC), an initiative formed through research by the Centre for Sustainable Design at UCA, has achieved £45,000 worth of savings for Farnham residents through the repair of everyday items.

The FRC is the first charity in the UK of its kind and, since it was established in 2015, has welcomed more than 1,500 visitors through its door, and prevented more than a tonne of products from being disposed through landfill. The FRC works closely with key stakeholders in Farnham: the CfSD, UCA, Farnham Town Council and the United Reformed Church, Farnham.

Professor Martin Charter, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Design (CfSD) and Chairman, Board of Trustees for FRC, said: “This latest milestone achieved by the Farnham Repair Café demonstrates the contribution it has made to our local community over the past three years. Not only has it played a significant role in educating people about the importance of reducing waste and the benefits that can be seen by moving towards a more circular economy, but it is also making substantial financial savings for Farnham families.”

The FRC meets once a month and provides a place where local people can seek advice and get free assistance from volunteers to repair and extend the useful life of broken or faulty products. Such products can include anything from electrical and mechanical products, to furniture, clothing, textiles and bikes. 

In addition to repairing and refurbishing items, the FRC also encourage residents and students to experiment and explore new ideas through the up-cycling of products, utilising product parts for a new intended purpose or for an improved function.

The CfSD is a specialist research centre that focuses on sustainable innovation and product sustainability. The Centre researches, develops and disseminates understanding of present and future sustainability impacts and solutions related to innovation. Internationally recognized as a centre for excellence, CfSD works with partners in Europe, North America and Asia.