A new share, repair and reuse network is to be developed in Pembrokeshire, creating not only a green, circular economy but also social, community and employment benefits.
The network is being led by Pembrokeshire County Council through Norman Industries working alongside the Regeneration Department with Paul Sartori, Pembrokeshire College, Clynfyw Care Farm, TYF St Davids, Grwp Resilience, Scolton Manor, Pembrokeshire’s Social Activity Centres and a range of local charities and social enterprises.
The scheme is supported by a £605,000 grant from the Welsh Government under its circular economy programme ‘Repair and Reuse’ to promote green recovery in Welsh town centres.
The first part of the project is to create a network of repair cafés. People will be able to bring broken items to be repaired by a group of specialist volunteers. This could be mending a zip to working out why something electrical is no longer working or fixing a bike. Repair cafés will be available in around eight high streets across Pembrokeshire each month. This element of the project is being supported by Repair Café Wales.
The second part of the project will create a Library of Things based in Haverfordwest. This will be an opportunity for people to borrow items at a low cost rather than buying something that they may only use once or can’t really afford. The network will also encourage people to look in their sheds, garages and cupboards for things that aren’t broken but are no longer required or unlikely to be used again and to donate or share these items with others who need them. A borrowing website will be established and people will be able to collect items from locations across Pembrokeshire. This element of the project is supported by Benthyg Cymru – Wales’ Library of Things network.
The third element is a series of workshops which will take broken or outdated items and repair or upcycle the products to generate income for local charities or social enterprises. Items will be available for sale through Paul Sartori shops, an online sales platform and via events hosted by network partners.
The digital platform for the Library of Things and sale of items will be launched at the end of March.
All parts of the project are designed to increase opportunities for volunteering, work experience and supported paid work for people with disability and long term health conditions.
Cllr Tessa Hodgson, Cabinet Member for Social Services, said she was delighted to welcome the scheme.
“There is so much excellent work in this project,” she said. “In particular, it will enable many people with skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to pass that on and share it with others, while at the same time helping the environment and creating better links within communities.”
Cllr Cris Tomos, Cabinet Member with responsibility for the Environment in Pembrokeshire, was also full of praise for the project.
“This is really exciting and innovative and a fantastic boon for Pembrokeshire – something really positive to look forward to after the difficult times we have had,” he said. “I can’t wait to see it get off the ground and hear not only about the eco-friendly impact but also the benefits for communities, mental health and employment.”
If you would like to find out more about the volunteering, work experience and supported paid work opportunities in the project, please contact Employability Pembrokeshire by e-mailing [email protected] or telephoning 01437 775258 during office hours.