Learn to make or mend something yourself

You can find tutorials and courses on how to make and endless number of things, from your own bread, clothes, furniture to soaps and cosmetics. Once you’ve learnt something, why not share your new found talents with friends?


Necessity is the mother of invention. The first wave of ‘make do and mend’ addressed shortages brought on by WWII and for many the current boom is fuelled by the knowledge that to flourish we need to consume less to live within planetary limits. Limits to growth are boundaries by necessities for healthy air, water, soil and biodiverse systems. Choosing to learn new skills, be creative and become more self-reliant also increases well being and helps to reduce our carbon footprint.


Many craft courses run at Parkside, Hills Rd, Witchford,  Impington Village Colleges  and Cottenham Village College.

www.craftcourses.com, Instrucatables.com and Treehugger.com are also good sources, particularly for online learning options.

Pictures and videos that others share of their creations can be a great source of inspiration. See Pinterest and find thousands of ‘How to…’ videos on YouTube, Videojug in particular is a good source.

If you’d like to learn to repair then Cambridgeshire continues to see a proliferation of Repair Cafés, community events where experienced volunteers can advise you on repairs and help you out. For a complete list of upcoming Repair Cafes in the Cambridgeshire area, see Circular Cambridge . Men’s Sheds are great for people wanting to spend time in a shared space with other like-minded folk.

The internet is a goldmine for repair tips and advice. Simply doing an internet search on your particular item can help reveal whether others have had the same problem and whether spares are available. There are countless YouTube repair clips (some easier to follow than others) and Videojug can be good too. iFixit is a fantastic repair resource, and grades its repairs by difficulty.

Remember to ask around your community too, in person or on social media like Nextdoor.co.uk. There’s bound to be someone, or someone who knows someone, with the skills you’re looking for help with or to learn.