voluneer fixing a machine

Oxshott Net Zero hosts Oxshott’s Inaugural Repair Café

23rd January 2024

On Saturday 20 January, Oxshott Net Zero hosted their inaugural Repair Café in collaboration with Danes Hill School. The charity invited the community to attend and to bring with them a household item in need of repair.   

A group of volunteers gathered at Danes Hill School with the aim of giving items a second lease of life. The mission of the Repair Café is to reduce the volume of items going to landfill and to help people develop new skills in repairs. Their volunteer repairers are experts or enthusiasts in areas such as electronics, electrics, textiles, toys, upholstery, metal work and woodwork. Throughout the morning, there was a great deal of skill-sharing between generations, with people on hand to teach different skills, such as how to knit or crochet or use a hand-drill safely. There was also a collection of laptops to be passed on to children without access to online learning. At each Repair Cafe, a different item will be collected for redistribution. Many repairs were made at the inaugural Café , including a very special repair on Monty the Monkey. A pupil from Danes Hill School arrived at the event with Monty the Monkey in tow, a toy that belonged to the child’s grandfather. The family were overjoyed to see Monty patched up, looking as good as new! 

Oxshott Net Zero is a local startup of Oxshott residents working to reduce carbon emissions through sharing information and ideas and running local events and projects. As well as the Repair Café, they are promoting a movement called Take the JUMP. A simple, clear and effective initiative which anyone can get involved with. It is based on research from the University of Leeds, Arup and C40 Cities and for the first time has quantified the impact of individual actions and identified the most impactful changes which individuals can make to live in balance with the earth’s resources. The initiative encourages participants to try six shifts to protect our earth and live with joy. These include ending clutter, travelling fresh, eating green, dressing retro, holidaying locally and changing the system.    

At the event, Danes Hill School’s dedicated catering team, Holroyd Howe, hosted a lovely pop-up cafe, with delicious treats, teas and coffees. One of the attendees commented, ‘It is wonderful to have a friendly space for the village and the school to get to know each other better’. In the future the school’s Charity and Eco Committees hope to get involved in the initiatives and events. This term, members of the Eco-Committee met with Diana Thornton, co-founder of Oxshott Net Zero, to hear all about what Danes Hill can do to support the Take the JUMP initiative. Some of the older children will be training as youth ambassadors this term.   

Diana Thornton, co-founder of Oxshott Net Zero said, ‘We could not do what we do without the overwhelming support of the local community. This is just the start of our Repair Café events and we look forward to continuing our mission of giving items a second lease of life’.    

Head of Danes Hill School, Maxine Shaw commented, ‘It was wonderful for the school to be able to work alongside Oxshott Net Zero and invite the local community to Danes Hill for their inaugural Repair Café. A huge thank you to the volunteer repairers for supporting Oxshott Net Zero’s initiative to reduce the volume of items going to landfill and we look forward to working with them in the future’.