The Repair Co-op Busselton

Fix it at the Busselton community co-op

Kettles that no longer boil, batteries that no longer charge, bikes that need to be repaired or furniture that need to be fixed - these are the kind of items that are being taken to Busselton's Community Repair Co-op.

The brainchild of Busselton resident Nick Edwards, and supported by The People Place, the co-op has been established to enable people to learn how to repair household items, rather than throw them away, and is up and running from 1pm to 3pm every third Saturday of the month.

The People Place chief executive Rilla Beresford said the co-op has been a success ever since it opened after COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed a couple of months ago.

"Over a dozen people attend every month to have household items fixed, including lawnmowers, keyboards, clocks and even a remote-controlled helicopter," she said.

"The Community Repair Co-op has really attracted a fantastic group of people from all different ages, from kids to seniors in their 80's, and we think it's a great way to keep things out of landfill by up-cycling.

"Already the volunteers have fixed everything from sewing machines to rocking chairs, and the initiative has also enabled people to meet and get to know each other, as well as have a lovely, social Saturday afternoon - and of course get their possessions fixed."

The Repair Co-op Busselton founder Nick Edwards said that similar organisations have existed around the world for the last decade.

"One was recently opened in Perth and it's a great way to build up skills in the community," he said.

"Currently lots of people throw away goods and things they have worked for and purchased, because they are unable to fix them when they break.

"Our co-op is an opportunity for people to learn how to repair some of these things, without having to throw them away and buy a new one.

"We're calling on people who can repair things and would like to volunteer to get in touch.

"We'd love to hear from people who have a skill in repairing anything really, and if we know beforehand what skills will be available on the day by those who volunteer, we can let people know what to bring in for repair."

Linkwest chief executive Jane Chilcott said people who attended their local Community Resource Centre tended to be more engaged in their local community, as well as happier, more optimistic and in possession of stronger friendships.

"Linkwest Centres like The People Place offer dedicated community spaces that are friendly and , welcoming, and where locals can meet to learn, gain new skills, make friends and feel part of their community," she said.

"Initiatives like this community driven repair coop provide volunteering and social opportunities, as well as a very worthwhile and practical service in the community, which not only reflects the needs of locals, but also helps to build a cohesive, vibrant community. It's a win-win all round."

Items which can be taken to the co-op for repair include small pieces of furniture, electrical items, batteries, clothes, paintings, bikes and computers.

To find out more about the Repair Coop Busselton please visit the Facebook page facebook.com/repaircoopbusselton/ or email busseltonrepaircoop@gmail.com