Council Leader and residents embrace sustainability at Heston community event

Residents from across London came together on Saturday, 27 January for ‘Be in the Loop’: a family-friendly repair and crafting event at Heston Community Centre.

Published: Monday, 29th January 2024

Leader of the Council, meeting residents at the Heston Repart Cafe on Saturday 27th Jan

The lunchtime sessions were hosted in collaboration between Hounslow Council, its partners, and Heston Repair Cafe, and was delivered as part of the Council’s ongoing flagship Heston in the Loop circular economy neighbourhood project.

Leader of Hounslow Council, Shantanu Rajawat was in attendance to meet residents from the borough and to get one of his own items mended. Members of Heston wards were also in attendance alongside Council officers.

The community day featured a crafting workshop that passed on the knowledge to make draught excluders, a workshop that showed children aged 10 to 14 how to repair small gadgets and create fun crafts, and the monthly Repair Café that sees experts mend broken items and electricals brought in by residents.

Heston’s latest event is just one of 21 new types of circular activities introduced to the neighbourhood, and one of more than 60 circular community events delivered in the last 12 months.

Since July 2023, the Heston Repair Café alone has prevented 272kg of waste, and stopped 2407kg of C02 (carbon dioxide) being released into the atmosphere.


Heston Repair Cafe

Leader of the Council Cllr Shantanu Rajawat stands outside Heston Community Centre with Heston ward members, repair experts, volunteers, and residents from across all of Hounslow as Saturday’s Be in the Loop event was enjoyed.

Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, Leader of Hounslow Council, said: "I was delighted to attend Saturday’s ‘Be in the Loop’ activity day and meet residents and volunteers who are so passionate about contributing to Hounslow’s circular economy.

‘Hounslow is always looking to offer innovative solutions to climate action and sustainability, with this weekend’s event offering another chance to provide residents with the skills to better reuse, repair, and recycle.

‘Encouraging sustainable behaviours through initiatives such as our flagship Heston in the Loop pilot is integral to the carbon reduction in the borough we’re so committed too. It’s especially pleasing to see hard work and dedication backed up by promising reduction figures.

‘Not only does adopting a ‘zero-waste’ mindset help protect our environment, but it also helps families save money week-to-week amid cost-of-living challenges.

‘We hope to take this approach to other areas of the borough, and ultimately act as a blueprint for other councils in London and across the United Kingdom to follow.’


Cllr Shantanu Rajawat, Leader of Hounslow Council watching how to repair electrical items at the Heston Repair Cafe event

Leader Rajawat sits down with a repair expert to have his portable radio mended for free.

Wayne Hubbard, CEO of ReLondon, said: “It’s fantastic to see Londoners embracing newly created opportunities to reuse, repair, share and recycle more within their communities. Embedding circular opportunities at the neighbourhood level through community-based initiatives are essential in encouraging people to adopt sustainable behaviours, while helping councils and businesses to create thriving neighbourhoods that deliver both environmental and economic positive outcomes.

‘Through The Heston in the Loop circular economy neighbourhood project, Hounslow Council is creating the infrastructure to make circular behaviours more accessible, convenient, and affordable for residents. We hope to see the learnings from this pilot applied and scaled across other neighbourhoods within Hounslow and other parts of London to support the capital’s wider transition to a low-carbon circular economy.’

The Repair Café is a standalone event that takes place on the last Saturday of every month at Heston Community Centre, and helps residents learn how to fix small appliances, bicycles, textiles, and electronic devices. Alongside the Repair Café volunteers, the event is made possible by partners Creative Spaces, Bike London Hub, The ReStart Project, and Blue Summit Tech.

Heston in the Loop launched in May 2023 and is a collaboration between Hounslow Council and ReLondon. The Council works with SMEs, organisations from across London, and local businesses to provide Heston and the wider borough with access to sustainable consumption choices. The project has attracted 20 delivery partners who offer various circular services, including free food growing sessions, repair education and eco-refill shops in schools, and apps facilitating zero-waste sharing in business and the community.

  • Heston Repair Café is a free monthly Saturday event hosted by a group of Hounslow residents who volunteer their time to help residents with faulty small electrical appliances, bikes, clothing, computers and more. The community event at Heston Community Centre is supporting Hounslow Council’s commitment to encourage reuse, repair, and recycle.

  • The formal part of the Heston in the Loop project will close in March 2024, with the aim of delivering both positive environmental and economic outcomes, and learnings that can be applied across other neighbourhoods within Hounslow and other parts of London.

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