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'Make, Do & Mend' Launch of new project

‘Make, Do & Mend Cafes’, a new project for Herefordshire:

Many people around the UK now benefit from ‘Repair Cafes’ – local events where it is possible to take along household items and find a friendly and skilled person to help mend them. In Herefordshire a collaboration between The Big Skill and New Leaf has just received funding from Awards 4 All for a variation on this theme. The two organisations are working with communities around the county to develop a series of café style events that will promote traditional skills whilst offering people a chance to have a go at a range of crafts, repair and recycling activities.

The ‘Make, Do & Mend Café’ project launches this Friday at Tudorville & District Community Centre in Ross on Wye. The event will draw on the expertise of local Big Skill practitioners, whilst also encouraging local community members to share their own skills.

Trevor Stringer of The Big Skill commented, “The events will be open to all and there will be different crafts and activities to suit everyone. Previously at Big Skill we have focused our outreach work on festival events. Working in partnership with New Leaf this new project will explore opportunities to integrate our work into the lives of local communities”.

At Tudorville Community Centre on Friday afternoon from 2.30pm – 6.30pm local people can try out basket making, felting, clay work and stone carving with members of The Big Skill, as well as learning about compost making, seed planting and keeping chickens from Sarah Blenkinsop of Moors Wood, and cycle repair from the team at Hereford Cycle Hub. Shari Vandervelde, Activities Co-ordinator at Tudorville, has also recruited repairers from within the local community to come along and share their sewing repair skills.

At other venues around the county other skills will be made available, including recycled glass work, pottery, weaving, dry stone walling, hurdle making, foraging, bodging, woodworking and quilting. Marches Energy Agency have also said that they will be regular attenders of these events to provide energy information to skill local people in how to save money on their home fuel bills.

Big Skill and New Leaf are now working with communities in Leomister, Kington, Hereford and Bromyard to develop events around the county over the coming year. Full details will be available on the New Leaf and Big Skill websites.


The Big Skill is a not for profit community interest company set up to preserve rural skills, provide demonstrations & hands on rural crafts activities & training resources.
Contact: Emma Bevan / Trevor Stringer /

New Leaf Sustainable Development Ltd is a small not-for-profit co-operative & exempt charity working in Herefordshire. New Leaf works with people around the county to develop ways of saving energy and living more sustainably.
Contact at New Leaf for the ‘Make Do & Mend’ project:
Kate Gathercole / 07824426719

This funding from Awards 4 All came as a result of local centres inviting Big Skill & New Leaf to develop events that support and develop community skills and repair activities.

The events will provide access to traditional & developmental crafts, using a range of old and new materials that:
- Offer opportunities for all ages to participate in traditional and modern crafts, gain new experiences, and develop lifetime skills
- Provide connections for elderly and isolated individuals (such as older men) to share new and old skills
- Enable the centres to provide a facility for local learning and application of upcycling of household items such as clothes, furniture and glass
- Bring the community together in a relaxed and family friendly way to share their expertise and interests.

The communities we plan to work with include Tudorville & District Community Centre (TDCC) in Ross, SHYPP (Sheltered Housing for Young People Project) Foyer in Leominster, Kemble Housing in Herefordshire (West Midlands Housing Association), Kington Community Library, HOPE Family Centre in Bromyard and Hereford Sixth Form College.

Earlier Event: 14 May
Grosmont Market