A repair cafe has recently opened at Waltham Chase Methodist Church.

Three men from the church decided to see what they could do to reduce the amount of broken portable domestic items taken to the local tip.

They spoke to Hampshire County Council a few months ago and were awarded a grant to fund the project. An additional benefit was to get men together encouraging wellbeing, reducing depression and discussing health problems they may encounter.

The project started its trial period meetings once a month for several months, before the grand opening in February. A shipping container was installed in the church car park and fitted out with work bench and tools.

A basement room was allocated in the church. There are now about seven men who go to fix things on the first Saturday morning of each month.

Repaired items have included an exercise bike, guitar case, a computer-printer interface, vacuum cleaners, electric drill, cassette radio and a pair of trousers.

Meon Valley MP Flick Drummond was invited to the grand opening and cut the specially made repair cafe cake.

Hampshire county councillors, district councillors and well wishers attended. Cllr Rob Humby cut the ceremonial ribbon to declare the Repair Cafe open.

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Martin Letts, from Waltham Chase Methodist Church, said: “It was great to see everyone pulling together. Most of all it was wonderful to be able to share with others in determining how we all move forward in overcoming these 21st century challenges.

Hampshire Chronicle: Sam Charles, Cllr Rob Humby and Mark Tizzard

“It’s a good demonstration of how churches and local authorities can enjoy each others’ company and build strong links.

“Volunteers are always needed with skills to help repair items such as domestic electrical and mechanical goods, jewellery, leather and even clothing. One lady comes along to assist us. Ladies who wish to offer their skills are of course very welcome.”

Hampshire Chronicle: Steve, Neil, Eric with food mixer

To contact the Meon Valley Repair Cafe, email: admin@r-men.org.uk.

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