We're opening a hub in Portsmouth's Cascade Shopping Centre in early 2023, which will be home to Repair Café Portsmouth and a new Portsmouth Library of Things, but we need your financial help!
Please click on the 'Support Us' or 'Donate' buttons near the top of this page to donate today, or continue reading to find out more.
A Repair Café is where you can bring your broken things along and together with our volunteers you try and fix the item. We help people with vacuum cleaners, lights, toys, toasters, kettles, necklaces, jumpers, coffee machines…and much more. Saving you money and carbon (reducing your carbon footprint).
We don't charge a fee to help you with your repair, but we do ask for donations to help with the cost of running the project.
We've been running these as monthly pop-up events for the past 5 years (read more about what we've achieved further down this page), and we aim to continue these around the city, as well as having the central hub for help with repair at other times of the month.
We also intend to run 'How to...' workshops, based on requests, which so far revolve around using power tools, sewing machines and practical DIY jobs, and we'll suggest a donation for attending.
A Library of Things is where you can borrow things that you don’t use everyday.
People can borrow all types of things:
- DIY, gardening or craft tools to help with a project
- a gazebo, projector, spare table or tea urn for a party or community event
- baby items for visiting friends and family
- 'try before you buy' - a waffle maker, bread maker
- cake tins, a chocolate fountain for a birthday celebration
- a thermal imaging camera to work out where you're losing heat from your home
- or maybe you're going camping and need some extra kit.
These are just some examples of things that you won't need to own and store personally, but can be owned, maintained and shared by us all.
You'll be able to become a member for as little as £1 per year and then borrow items with suggested donation amounts, for a week at a time.
In preparation for opening, we have been collecting donated items and are looking forward to finally putting them to use.
Ultimately we want to create space in our city to inspire and enable more sharing, whether that's skills or possessions, and we hope you will be part of making this vision a reality and can help by donating today.
We also hope that we inspire others across the country to explore doing similar things and are always happy to help others starting up in their local communities. It's exciting to think of high streets having repair and sharing as part of their regeneration.
Did you know that the UK is the 2nd largest producer of eWaste per capita in the world? And the impact of fast fashion on the planet is greater then aviation!
By sharing and repairing our items so they last longer, we can greatly reduce waste and our carbon footprints, as well as saving ourselves money and space, so it's a win win.
Here's what we've achieved by running a monthly pop-up Repair Café for the past 5 years. Imagine what we can do if we're open for sessions every week at the hub as well as community pop-ups?!
And with the average drill only being used for 13 minutes in its life, being able to share DIY and gardening tools, as well as things such as camping gear, event kit, kitchen, baby and pet equipment, will save even more carbon, as well as money and space for the people of Portsmouth.
We're really grateful to the Cascades Shopping Centre owners, who have offered us a retail unit to get us started, but of course there are still plenty of things for which funds will be needed.
- There is work to be done on fitting out the unit (we'll be repurposing as much as possible, and making sure things are modular so we can move them easily if needed in the future).
- Lots of the items in the library have already been donated by people who no longer need them, but there are some much requested items that are missing that we're looking to purchase.
- There are things such as insurance, utilities, systems and looking after our volunteers.
- And we want everyone to know about it, so need funds for marketing so we can help increase how much we repair and borrow in our city.
You also won't be surprised to hear that we're applying for any charitable grants that we can. These often have quite long lead times and there is stiff competition, and we know that the people of Portsmouth are generous and supportive of local projects, so thank you for your support in donating today and spreading the word about this Crowdfunder.
Share (Portsmouth) is a registered charity: 1200905. We currently have four trustees and over 30 volunteers; you'll have seen some of them in our short video. We thought we'd share a little about some of us here and couldn't help but include the last things we borrowed and fixed :-)
Five years ago, our founder and chair of trustees, Clare Seek, gathered a group of interested people from across the city and started Repair Café. She now helps others start them in their communities; is involved in a UK-wide community repair network and campaigns for the Right to Repair with others around the globe. She's also set up sharing groups in her neighbourhood in Portsmouth and loves practical solutions that bring people together and help the planet. Recently she borrowed a car and some knitting needles, and repaired an old music box and replaced her husband's iPhone battery.
Hannah Shackleton is one of our trustees, bringing passion and a wide range of skills to the team. "It makes financial and environmental sense to borrow rather than buy when it comes to things like drills and fondue sets - those things that we don't use often and would sit at the back of a cupboard untouched for months. I want to be part of making that easy in Portsmouth!"
And the last thing borrowed and fixed? "Apart from library books, I recently borrowed my neighbour's ladder while I was decorating - so handy to be able to use it but not have to store it in my flat! And I repaired a wonky drawer at my mum's house and a top where the seam had split."
Martin Palethorpe is part of the set up team and passionate about seeing change. "I care about the planet & about community. I’m amazed about how much we consume needlessly. Our societal habits need to change fast, and Share(Portsmouth) is helping with that in a practical way. Let’s share, borrow, repair. Let’s come together. Let’s talk more. Let’s help each other."
And the last thing borrowed and fixed? "I borrowed a drill and recently had my kettle, washing machine and my EV charging cable repaired."
Helen Burden is another trustee who brings a jack of all trades master of none attitude and an ability to find a cake suitable for any occasion. "I feel strongly about the benefits of working together as a community to help each other and reduce our need to individually purchase more and more things. There are so many positives from the concept of sharing, from environmental to financial, but mostly to our well-being of connecting with each other." And the last thing borrowed and fixed? "I borrowed a ladder from my neighbour to change the battery in my smoke alarm and the last thing I repaired was a bed frame!"
Ben Leveritt is another trustee and a Repair Café volunteer who's never afraid to learn new things. "I've always loved fixing things, but so much stuff is built to be thrown away. I think we can fix that too, by sharing things and ideas, building a community that demands more from manufacturers and create lasting sustainability for us and our city." And the last thing borrowed, and fixed: "I'll try to fix anything that comes in via the Repair Cafe. In fact, I borrowed some specialist bike tools from the kind folk there, which I promptly used to fix my 'new to me' bike I rescued from landfill."
We appreciate that times are tough right now, but truly believe that this is perfect time for a project like this in the city. We'll be helping to reduce carbon as well as saving people money in these challenging times. Thank you so much for any contribution you can give to help us make this a reality quickly.
And if you'd like to get involved in other ways such as volunteering, donating items to the library, business sponsorship, please do contact us via our website.