Jerry Randall’s semi-retirement goal was to lend a helping hand to both the community and environment. So when the new Anglesea resident came across a story in the local community newsletter about Repair Café Surf Coast seeking volunteers, it was perfect timing.
“My wife and I recently semi-retired to Anglesea and came to live in what was previously our holiday home. With more time on my hands I wanted to do something for the community, but more than that, I wanted to do something for the environment as well,” Mr Randall said.
Repair Café Surf Coast will host its next event on Sunday 6 March at Anglesea Memorial Hall, inviting people to bring broken or worn-out items to be repaired by volunteers and saved from landfill.
Taking on the volunteer photography role has provided Mr Randall with a front-row seat to the significant environmental leadership of the Repair Café.
“Repair Cafe Surf Coast not only provides a place for people to bring along their broken kettles and lamps or their kid’s favourite toy that no longer lights up or makes a noise, but also a place to bring garments that need patching or buttons re-sewn,” he said.
“You don’t have to be a volunteer repairer yourself to either gain benefit or to give benefit to our environment. In the past I’ve been guilty of too readily disposing of broken household items without thinking of the implications: more items go to landfill, and then the cycle of purchasing something new and the resources required to make that happen.”
He recalls his father-in-law – a keen golfer – epitomised the concept of repairing rather than buying a new replacement item.
“I didn’t understand it at the time, but the repaired golf tees that I’ve held onto are a constant reminder that broken doesn’t have to mean discarded.”
Now in its sixth year, the Repair Café has already helped almost 1000 visitors save over 2.8 tonnes from landfill. Around 75 per cent of items have been able to be fixed on the day, or advice has been given on further actions to repair them.
Anglesea Ward Councillor Mike Bodsworth praised Repair Café Surf Coast.
“Our community vision is to leave the Surf Coast better than we found it, while one of our Council goals is to divert more material from the waste stream. Repair Café is certainly playing its part to support this,” Cr Bodsworth said.
“I encourage locals and visitors to make the most of this wonderful group. A simple action such as taking an item to the Repair Café will help challenge society’s throwaway culture.”
Visit Repair Café Surf Coast on Sunday 6 March at Anglesea Memorial Hall from 10am to 2pm.
Repair Café Surf Coast is held one Sunday a month, except for June and January. For valuable sustainability tips and to stay-up-to-date, follow @RepairCafeSurfCoast on Facebook.