The Congleton Sustainability meeting took place recently, please download the full meeting minutes HERE.
Highlights included a spotlight on Congleton’s Repair Cafe.
Repair Café Spotlight
Congleton Repair Café (CRC) has been operating since January 2022 and has gone from strength to strength throughout the year. We are a volunteer-led, free, pop-up event held on the last Saturday of the month. To date we have held 11 main repair events at The Old Sawmill, as well as 6 bike only repair events at Bromley Farm Community Centre. Though we do not currently have accurate numbers regarding the amount of items fixed, we estimate that this has led to approx. 200 successful repairs. Our group has steadily grown in numbers to a healthy roster of 17 volunteers, which will likely continue to increase, moving into 2023. We have been supported with funding from the Inclosure Trust, the Margaret Williamson Memorial Fund and donations at each event. Recently we have also been approached by Ansa Environmental Services, owned by Cheshire East Council, regarding sponsorship – though nothing at present is confirmed.
What we fix is based on the expertise of our Repairers – predominantly electrical appliances, clothing, furniture and bikes, but also clocks & watches, jewellery, children’s toys, scooters and anything in-between (that isn’t a smart device or computer). The majority of our fixes are electrical appliances, with lamps, toasters and hoovers appearing frequently.
We identified mid-way through the year that advertising was a limiting factor in the attendance of our events. Where there was a consistent social media presence throughout the month, a notably higher attendance was seen at the corresponding event. In the latter months of 2022 we have focused much of our efforts into advertising and signage, namely paid Facebook advertising (very successful), canvassing leaflets and sourcing branding work from AD Profile – the same team to design branding for the Jazz & Blues Festival, Congleton Unplugged, and the Green Fayre.
Despite continued efforts we have struggled to source volunteers willing to organise the events, man the reception and help with the wider logistics of improving our group moving forward. We have plenty of volunteers with experience of fixing things, but very few who are willing to aid outside of the event day. Our lead organiser does not live in Congleton and performs their role remotely, this is not sustainable to keep the group operational. We have recently taken on a new volunteer who suits this role well and has been a fantastic addition, but more are needed to share various responsibilities and ensure CRC can consistently operate in an effective way. With plenty of ideas and various offers of funding, we feel there is great potential for our group, but a few more additions are still required.
Group discussed ways to advertise events –
· Community Notice boards
· Press release
· Leaflets in Chronicle
· Events on Facebook
· General Posts
· Congleton Radio
Next meeting 7 February 2023 at The Old Saw Mill, 6:30 pm
Spotlight topic: What do we want to achieve in 2023? – bring your ideas!
CSG Meetings are typically scheduled for the first Tuesday of the month.
The CSG AGM will be held in June 2023.