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Mending more than broken parts

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Mending more than broken parts

Meet one of Melton’s menders. 

Laurie Geyer is part of a small team of volunteers at the Community Repair Café, which fixes broken items for residents for free.   

The 74-year-old retiree, who has extensive experience working in engineering and motor mechanics, began volunteering five years ago.     

Whether it’s a wonky walking frame, a blocked vacuum cleaner or a broken household item, Laurie will do his best to give it a new lease of life.   

“I’ve always been a bit of a tinkerer and I thought this would be a good way to help others,” Mr Geyer said.     

The free service means people can save money on unnecessary purchases, by
extending the lives of existing items.   

 “The most common items that people present with are walkers or wheelchairs that just need to be lubricated or adjusted slightly,” he said.     

“We also get a lot of vacuum cleaners to repair because there is a filter that needs changing or they are blocked.      

“Then there may be jewellery, toys or household items that have come apart and just need a simple fix. 

“While we can’t fix everything, we do our best to help.” 

Laurie said it was rewarding to be able to fix something for someone on the spot.   

He also said it was a great way to reduce landfill, as many of these items would otherwise end up at the tip.     

The Community Repair Café is also a crucial connection point for Melton residents.

It's a meeting place that aims to maintain and build a sense of community, as the region continues its rapid expansion.     

Mr Geyer has lived in Melton for almost 50 years, back then it was a sleepy suburb.   

“There were 3,000 people when we first moved to Melton and my wife and I raised our three children here,” he said.     

Last year there were almost 200,000 residents, a figure which is expected to more than double by 2051.     

The community's health needs are serviced by the Melton Health Hub and Melton Community Services with a new Melton Hospital due to open in 2029.   

Currently, the Western Health Promotion Team is actively involved in improving the health and wellbeing of the community by partnering with the people in the City of Melton.  

Western Health Divisional Director of Complex and Chronic Care Kirsty Barnes said the Community Repair Café was a partnership project between Melton City Council, Lendlease and Western Health.      

The Community Repair Café provides an opportunity to bring people together to connect and learn new skills, thus reducing social isolation and building the capacity of the community to enhance their mental health and wellbeing,” Mrs Barnes said.     

“In addition to the repair service, our Health Promotion Team run practical workshops, whether it’s repurposing old teapots by turning them into windchimes or inviting experts to share the secrets of growing your own fruit and vegetables.”    

 "The team is currently focused on healthy eating, active living, mental health and gender equity and we work across schools, early year’s settings, sporting clubs and community members to achieve positive outcomes in partnership with Melton residents."    

Find out more

Melton residents are invited to bring along household items that are broken and need mending to the Bridge Road Community Centre on the last and first Saturday of the month from 9am-11am.   

Find out more, including upcoming family craft and soulful soup sessions here