Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Repair Cafe bucking the throw-away trend

David Neyle is among the volunteers at the Bega Valley Repair Café.

21 May 2020

Increasingly it seems we are living as part of a throw-away society strongly influenced and driven by consumerism. We throw away vast amounts of stuff; product waste has alarmingly increased ten-fold over the last century. This National Volunteers Week we celebrate a band of local volunteers who are bucking the trend; painstakingly fixing what would otherwise be discarded.

The trouble is, lots of people have forgotten that they can repair things themselves or they no longer know how.

Locally though there was a great step taken recently to arrest this trend, with the renamed and rebadged Bega Valley Repair Café launched last November.

The Repair Café is a not-for-profit initiative, established with an overarching purpose of repairing items rather than seeing them go into landfill. It also provides a social connection for people as they learn how to repair everyday items for themselves.

A quick scan of their Facebook page gives a terrific insight into this community minded and driven organisation.

There are some great little stories about clothing, electronics, jewellery and even antiques that have been essentially reborn with a little tinkering and TLC.

Like so many of our wonderful volunteers across the Valley, those involved in the Repair Café are delighted to share their skills and knowledge with their visitors and thrive in the ongoing learning environment.

Bega Valley Shire Council’s Library Learning and Engagement Officer, Sugita Wahl, said Council has greatly enjoyed teaming up with the Bega Valley Repair Café.

“It’s a great initiative that addresses the throwaway culture of modern society and shines a light on the value of what are sometimes seen as old-fashioned skills of mending and repairing,” Ms Wahl said.

“The Repair Café serves a real need in our community, helping reduce waste and save community members some money.

“On top of that its run by such a great group of people - the atmosphere is always very relaxed and welcoming when I visit.”

The Bega Valley Repair Café runs every Friday between 10.00am and 2.00pm in the Bega Youth Space on Gipps Street in Bega (next to the Court House and opposite Target).*

Patrons are asked to cover the cost of parts and make a small donation if their item is fixed. 

New volunteers are always welcome – to get involved phone 0405 383 692 or email

During National Volunteer Week we’re celebrating the incredible contribution volunteers make at the heart of our community. We can’t give them a hug or shake hands their hands right now, but we can give them a massive shout out online.

To do that we’ve created a virtual Thank You card on our website where you can write as much or as little as you like, to pay tribute to a volunteer or group of volunteers.

Be part of the celebration by sharing photos of your favourite volunteering moments on social media with the hashtags #thankyouBVSvolunteers and #NVW2020

*Due to COVID-19 restrictions the Repair Café is currently closed.


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