Abbey Repair Café at the Cambridge Museum of Technology celebrates our industrial heritage

Local residents were invited to bring their broken items to be mended at the third Abbey Repair Café on Friday 5th July. The Museum of Technology, home of our industrial heritage here in Cambridge, made a fantastic venue for a whole host of repairs.  

Clothes, jewellery and books were repaired in the Top Bay of the historic sewage Pumping Station. Electrical, mechanical and woodwork items were restored in the Pye Building, where the Museum’s new exhibition on the history of Pye radio and telecommunications is displayed. While outside bikes were fixed alongside the café where visitors enjoyed a hot drink and cake. 

By working in partnership with Cambridge Carbon Footprint, we were able to run our third Abbey Repair Café, and see even more broken items than before.  

Our experienced volunteer repairers looked at 69 items and fixed 48 of them – this is the most items we have had at an Abbey Repair Café to date! These repairs prevented over 197kg of waste and 1,053kg of CO2 emissions, making a positive environmental impact by stopping items that could be fixed from ending up in landfill.  

“Very impressed with the service and the expertise of the lady who repaired my necklaces. I had tried to repair them myself but failed to make a robust repair” Repair Café visitor 

The Repair Café also helped a lot of people learn new skills. 91% of respondents to our feedback form shared that the Repair Café helped them learn greater knowledge and skills to fix things, and 73% said they would now try a repair themselves.  

“Brilliant initiative and many thanks for providing this service. So valuable to reduce waste and encourage people to improve their skills and increase their confidence” Repair Café visitor 

35 incredible volunteers came together to make the event happen on Friday evening, from organising the event over the past few months, running the welcome desk, hosting the café stand, and of course repairing broken items. 88% respondents to our feedback form felt that the Repair Café helped them connect with the Abbey community. 

“Very friendly community event that brings people together to share knowledge, skills and experience. Well worth supporting!” Repair Café visitor 

This is what the Repair Cafés are all about – building connections in Abbey and helping local people to build their confidence to fix their broken items. 

“I am very happy that repair cafe exists. It’s really helping people” Repair Café visitor 

Please contact us at if you would like to volunteer at our future Repair Cafes – we have a range of volunteer opportunities including organising the Repair Cafes, trainee repairers, welcome desk volunteers, café hosts, and more.  

You can find more Repair Cafes across Cambridgeshire at   

We would like to give special thanks to the National Lottery players for their support through the National Lottery Climate Action funding the River Cam CAN (Climate Action through Nature) project.   

This 2-year project is involving communities near the River Cam in working on solutions that will benefit them and help to make the city more sustainable and resilient. The main project location is the city’s most disadvantaged ward, Abbey. Communities will transform neglected areas including those around ecologically important chalk-streams, ancient willow trees along 10km of the Cam’s riverbanks, a community urban farm and a roadside verge outside a school. A series of community climate action events and activities are also being delivered, including more Repair Cafes and Climate Cafes.   

The main project partners are Cambridge Past, Present & Future, Abbey People, CoFarm, Cambridge City Council, Climate Outreach and Water Sensitive Cambridge but the project will work with a much wider range of organisations. 


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