Repair and reuse in Somerset are being boosted by a new Community Action Groups (CAG) network that launches next month in Shepton Mallet.

The CAG Somerset network officially launches to the public on Saturday 9 March – and the team invite Somerset residents to join their celebration and find out how they can help people across the county get involved in repair and reuse.

The launch will be hosted by CAG Somerset and Shepton Mallet Repair Café on Saturday 9 March, from 10.30am to 1.30pm.

Volunteers from Shepton Mallet Repair Café will be leading a skills session – the perfect opportunity for members of the public to learn how to make simple clothing repairs, as well as have fun learning about different household plugs, and the basic principles of light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Managed by Resource Futures, the CAG Somerset network is backed by Somerset Council and their waste contractor SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK and provides free support to the network of Community Action Groups in Somerset.

Through training, practical support and networking opportunities, CAG Somerset is here to support groups that promote reuse, repair, waste reduction, sharing surplus food or composting. CAG Somerset also aims to expand the types of group they support in the future.

This newly created network can help established groups, groups that are just starting out or people thinking about setting up a group.

Cllr Dixie Darch, Executive Lead Member for Climate and Environment at Somerset Council said:

We are thrilled that this new initiative has launched. We want Somerset to be a green and sustainable place to live. With the Somerset Community Action Group network up and running, we know that the passion for repair, reuse and reducing waste will continue to grow.

‘Repair and reuse is an environmentally friendly alternative to buying new. It’s usually cheaper to repair items and it helps to prevent precious materials, like copper and gold going to waste. We’re pleased to see communities leading the way with repair and reuse.

Lily Morton, Senior Community Liaison Manager at SUEZ in Somerset, said:

We are really pleased to be announcing the launch of our CAG project in Somerset in partnership with Somerset Council and Resource Futures.

Repair and reuse are essential elements in the strive for a circular economy and key to reducing our carbon emissions. By creating a more formal network of groups in Somerset along with the support of dedicated officers, we hope that we are encouraging community groups to share ideas, knowledge but also get inspired by others.

The CAG project will allow these groups to grow within Somerset, providing access to the majority of residents. The project will hopefully showcase that so much of what people think they should throw away can easily be repaired or when coming to buying new things, they think second-hand/reuse.

Jinny Uppington, CAG Somerset Lead, added:

Community action is key to supporting Somerset achieve its sustainability goals. We are hoping CAG Somerset enables better supported and connected groups, able to fulfil their potential and see their ideas flourish into reality.

Join us at the launch event to learn more about the CAG Network and meet with community groups.

Cordelia Unger-Hamilton, Shepton Mallet Repair Café volunteer said:

It is very helpful to be part of a larger organisation that understands the needs of community groups and can help with solutions and suggestions. It will also become a good way for the many community groups to interact.

‘So far, we have been allocated a grant which will pay for an item we couldn’t have bought with our present funds and have received help with promotion so that more people hear about the repair café.

The event will provide the opportunity to celebrate community repair groups. As well as to connect and share ideas with like-minded people making community action happen.

Somerset Councillor Oliver Patrick, Associate Lead Member for Climate Change and Transport, will be speaking at the event.

CAG Somerset membership is free, and groups of all sizes are welcome to join the network. Support for members will be tailored to the group’s needs and aims.

Anyone unable to attend the event, can contact the CAG Somerset team to learn more about the network, membership benefits, and how to join.

A man repairing a bicycle

About this article

February 27, 2024


Press Release