Royston Repair Café is celebrating its 10 year anniversary, and wants to inspire the next generation of repairers.

When the café launched in February 2014, it was the first in Hertfordshire and the 12th in the country. There are now more than 500 community repair groups across the UK, and nine in Herts.

Royston Crow: Katherine and Frank repairing a coatKatherine and Frank repairing a coat (Image: Chris Lee)

The group was founded by Dermot Byrne and Chris Lee, and is a free service to repair broken household items.

Chris said: "The cost-of-living crisis means people can't afford to buy new stuff.

"We fix household items that are going to save you money by keeping them in use and out of landfill.

"Often people bring in vacuum cleaners and don't realise they need to clean the filters - or their vacuum cleaner becomes unblocked on the way to the repair café in the car.

Royston Crow: Richard repairing a grinderRichard repairing a grinder (Image: Chris Lee)

"We want to give owners the confidence to fix their own household products once they stop working."

The group also aims to inspire young people to take an interest in repairing.

Chris said: "We want to bring up the next generation of repairers – getting schoolchildren to have an insight into how things work.

"I’m always delighted when children come into the repair café with their parents.

Royston Crow: Andy fixing a fountain at Royston Repair CaféAndy fixing a fountain at Royston Repair Café (Image: Chris Lee)

"Repairers take them through what they are doing – making people think about why it’s not working."

Chris explained that Royston is a pioneer in waste and recycling, as the town is home to journalist Oliver Franklin-Wallis, author of Wasteland, a book about global waste.

"People don’t want to throw something but they think there’s no alternative," Chris said.

"There’s nothing more rewarding than fixing something someone thought they had to throw out.


"We're a clinic not a hospital - we don't want to put professional repairers out of business."

Royston Repair Café runs four times a year, and is always fully booked with a waiting list. The next one takes place in May.

The café fixes more than 50 per cent of items that come in - and fixed more than 80 per cent six months ago.

There are also cafés in Bassingbourn, Hitchin, Stevenage and Letchworth.