There is now a place in Helston where damaged or broken items can be taken to be fixed for free.

Sunday saw the launch of the Helston Repair Cafe, one of the projects in the Helston Climate Action Plan, which hopes to cut down on the number of items going to waste and also help people learn new skills in the process.

A group of volunteer crafters, electricians and engineers joined forces for the first event, held at CAST in Penrose Road, which offered the use of the studio for free to help get the cafe started.

Items brought along included a treasured elderly teddy bear that had lost his musical voice, a remote control car that would only move at a snail’s pace, socks from Mongolia, several pairs of jeans and a toaster, along with a vacuum cleaner belonging to former MP Andrew George, who described it as a "wonderful initiative."

Two of the repairers worked on the bear - one to perform open-ted surgery and repair his voice, the other to sew him back up again.

Teddy’s owner Pauline Fisher said “I can’t bear to look” as he was having his musical box removed, but Teddy lived to tell the tale and is singing once again.

Other than the toaster, which was thoroughly investigated but declared dead on arrival, most items were repaired and brought back into use.

Those taking items learned how to darn a sock and re-wire a plug. Some attending brought along things to work on themselves, made more enjoyable in the company of others.

Helston's deputy mayor Tim Grattan-Kane, who was one of those attending, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people attend this initial event. I am grateful to all the volunteers who offered their skills and experience to make this happen.

"Several items have been brought back into use and there are several people going home with items that have been restored.

"The good news is that items that would have been thrown away are now back in use rather than going to waste, helping to save our precious resources.”

The next Helston Repair Cafe will be on the on November 17, from 1.30pm until 4pm. Repairs are made for free, with only voluntary donations taken to cover costs.

Anyone who has skills they would like to offer can contact and also keep in touch via the Helston Climate Action Group’s Facebook page, where details of future events will be posted.

Katharine Lewis, from the group, said: "If you have an item that you want to repair please come along. The Repair Café can’t guarantee to work miracles but they will do their best to help.

"It is an opportunity to meet new people and you might find yourself learning a new skill."