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Solent Remade launch Hampshire’s first Library of Things at Havant Station

From L-R: Anne Sayer (Solent Remade CIC), Daniel Wright (Community Rail Network) and Philippa Gray (Solent Remade CIC).

Solent Remade has launched Hampshire’s first Library of Things at The Old Parcels Office in Havant Railway Station on Friday 27 January.

Library of Things offers people the opportunity to borrow items they only use occasionally, rather than buying them new – a great way of cutting unnecessary consumption, saving people money and reducing clutter. As well as borrowing items such as a drill, sewing machine or gazebo, local people can pop into the Old Parcels Office during opening hours to use things on site, including hand tools, a bike repair kit and an electronic shredder.

Funding partners including South Western Railway, Hampshire County Council and Community Rail Network joined Solent Remade CIC to celebrate this new initiative for local residents. The project has also been supported through UnLtd, which finds and funds social entrepreneurs.

Solent Remade CIC is a community organisation that runs repair and reuse projects in the borough of Havant, supported by access through active travel. Through the Community Use Spaces programme, a joint venture between South Western Railway and Community Rail Network, Solent Remade were able to transform the redundant taxi office at Havant Station into a thriving community space. As community station members with Community Rail Network, Solent Remade were able to access ongoing support, advice and funding, which paid for some of the necessary building works to replace the frontage of the unit, and to remove an internal partition wall.

From L-R: Neville Quick (Repair Café Havant), Paul Webster and Daniel Wright (Community Rail Network), Anne Sayer (Solent Remade CIC), Beth Richards (hidden) and Cllr Jackie Branson (Hampshire County Council), Philippa Gray (Solent Remade CIC), Paula Aldridge (South Western Railway), Catherine Billam (Solent Remade CIC), Phil Dominy and Peter Williams (South Western Railway).

The newly renovated space is used for not just the newly launched Havant Library of Things, but also as a hub for the monthly Havant Repair Café, and a community bike workshop and repair space, for which Solent Remade won third place at the 2022 Community Rail Awards in the category of ‘Most Enhanced Railway Spaces’.

Anne Sayer, Solent Remade Founder and Director, said: “We are delighted to celebrate this new project which will help the people of Havant tackle the cost-of-living crisis by borrowing not buying. We would like to thank all our funders who helped the project get to this stage. We currently have over 40 items ready to lend and this is just the start of a project that will grow to meet the needs of local people.”

To find out more about Havant Library of Things, visit the website. It is free to join, and members can borrow on a pay-what-they-can basis, with a suggested donation given to each item.

Havant Library of Things is also keen to hear from potential volunteers who would like to help the cause to expand, including to other locations in the borough. For further information, contact Anne Sayer on anne.sayer@solentremade.co.uk.