Founder of Ealing Repair Cafe Mary Horesh Making A Difference

Repairer and crafter nominated for special environmental award

Mary (left) with volunteers Lone and Yvonne


Sign up for our weekly Ealing newsletter

Comment on this story on the

A local woman who is striving to create a more sustainable planet, and help people save money in these difficult times, has been nominated for a special BBC award.

Northfields resident, Mary Horesh, set up the Ealing repair cafe in 2019 part of the Ealing Transition initiative, in a bid to cut down on waste, encourage people to value clothing, stop throwing away and learn to repair or alter instead.

The Acton Market Community Circular Economy Manager who is building a reduce/recycle hub  there, describes herself as a ''crafter, repairer, recycler, environmentalist and mum" and says:
''I like to help and encourage people to make positive steps to help the planet and the environment. I enjoy sewing and patch and darn to get the most out of my clothes. I also buy second hand and learning how to alter clothes for my family I crochet using sustainable and/or recycled yarn, like t-shirt yarn and British wool. I also dabble in craftivism, the art of gentle protest, which involves embroidering inspiring messages and have put them up around my area.''

Along with a number of other volunteers, Mary, at the Repair Cafe, hosts monthly meetups and pop up events which take place throughout the borough. The aim is to teach others how to patch and darn clothes and textiles, to move away from fast disposable fashion and create a more circular economy.

The friendly and relaxed gatherings have been recommended by many attendees who have benefitted both practically and in a social fashion, one stating, ''The Creative mending and thoughtful help with any stitching problem – stopped me throwing things away and also makes boring school uniform repairs more than tolerable if with a lovely chatty bunch!''

The next meetup will be  held at the Ealing Project on Monday 12 September. The Patch, Darn and Natter will take place from 7.30pm until 9pm, help and advice will be provided, using both hand sewing and sewing machine for alterations and seams.

The cafes take place at other venues including Dickens Yard, Happy Coffee on Northfield Avenue, (opposite Lammas park gates), and Trash and Treasure market.

A small donation of £3 is requested for the session to cover costs of equipment and expenses. All are welcome from absolute beginners to those more competent at hand sewing and basic materials which are reused, recycled and repurposed are provided. Details about future sessions can be found here.

Mary says: '' At the gatherings, we chat while mending, suggest how to mend items, have examples of repairs done by our community to inspire others, have a selection of mending books and have fabric and sewing equipment to borrow during the sessions. We will also have one sewing machine available to try out at some sessions.

''Sadly we have no funding, so we are limited in what we can do and how many sessions we run. However, we also want to get more people mending and valuing their clothes. If you are interested in getting involved or setting up your own session, we would love you to get in touch, please contact Ealing Repair cafe.''

Ealing repair cafe will also be involved in the Ealing Sustainable fashion show and clothes swap at Gunnersbury Museum on Saturday 8 October.

Mary has been nominated for her work in BBC Radio London’s ''Make A Difference Awards'' in the Environmental category.

The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 28 September at Ronnie Scott’s in Soho. 

Annemarie Flanagan

Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.


September 1, 2022

Bookmark and Share