A MAJOR non-profit initiative celebrated its first birthday in Gosport on Saturday, October 8, with politicians and prominent community activists among the guests.
Founder David Marks thanked his fellow volunteers for their hard work before Deputy Mayor of Gosport Councillor Martin Pepper cut the birthday cake.
Also in attendance were constituency MP Dame Caroline Dinenage, Gosport and Hampshire councillors, and community leaders.
This celebration event was originally scheduled for four weeks earlier but was postponed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II last month; joining others in changing their dates as a mark of respect to Her Majesty.
The first annual Impact Report was launched, summarising the story of the organisation in its first year, detailing the impact on the community and recognising the people and organisations that have supported the growth of this non-profit event held every month in Gosport.
To get a copy of the report, visit www.repaircafegosport.co.uk/impact.
Repair Café Gosport also announced that it had become a signatory to the UK community repair movement’s Manchester Declaration, which asks UK legislators and decision-makers at all levels, as well as product manufacturers and designers, to stand with Repair Cafés for a Right to Repair, making repair more accessible and affordable.
Dame Caroline was invited to support the organisation in endorsing the Manchester Declaration. By doing so she would join parliamentary colleagues Penny Mordaunt and Caroline Noakes.
The request was met warmly by the Gosport MP, who said that she looks forward to attending future Repair Café Gosport events with items to repair.
Mr Marks said: “All over the world there are thousands of Repair Cafes and there are at least a dozen in Hampshire. Gosport is distinctive because this cafe is based in a workshop.
“The Repair Cafe runs for 4 hours a month but MAKE Gosport, the community maker space, is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The leaders and members of MAKE Gosport deserve recognition. The Repair Cafe is aiming to increase visitor numbers and find more volunteers, so please help and tell everybody about us!”
And Dame Caroline said: “The Repair Café is already proving its worth in saving local people money and reducing waste. It was great to join the team on their first birthday and learn more about some of the items they repaired and rescued from landfill.”
Mr Pepper, who sists on both Gosport Borough and Hampshire County councils said: “Voluntary organisations have always been very important to me. For the sake of current and future generations, we want to reduce waste.
“I would prefer people not create waste in the first place but the second best option is to make sure that we renew!
“Repair Café Gosport are playing a part and I encourage them to stay true to their aims, encourage others to take advantage of their service and get more people to come and help along the way.”
PICTURED: Volunteers and guests at the Repair Cafe Gosport first birthday celebrations on Saturday. Photograph courtesy of Repair Cafe Gosport