The Bath BID and Share and Repair Bath have teamed up to bring an enchanting and environmentally minded Christmas to families in Bath.
From 26th November to 19th December, they are inviting children to visit the Elves’ Swapshop at 5 Old Bond Street, where they have trained the Share and Repair volunteers to refurbish toys and give them a new, loving home.
Tickets are available for a workshop demo and a jolly singalong with the elves for children and their adults, with family tickets available for a maximum of three children.
Children are being welcomed along to see the fabulous Elf-O-Matic toy upcycler in action by bringing a toy to be gifted to another lucky child. With the help of Elf-O-Matic technology, the elves will make sure that each toy is safe and clean and ready for its new home. Everyone who brings in a toy can see the machine in action and will be invited to take home a toy of their choice.
The Elf-O-Matic machine was the brainchild of Allison Herbert, Chief Executive of the Bath BID, and was brought to life by theatre and festival set designer and maker, Vix Fuller. Over 85% of the machine was made from reused, recycled, upcycled and preloved materials, including Vix’s children’s former playhouse, a Perspex cog that was previously used at Glastonbury Festival, and doors from former Bath nightclub, Bath to Mine.
As well as meeting the elves and marvelling at the Elf-O-Matic machine, children will have the opportunity to post their Christmas wishes into Father Christmas’ post box. Letters that include a stamped addressed envelope will receive a special Christmas greeting from Father Christmas.
The Bath BID and Share and Repair Bath are keen to thank to St John’s Foundation, who have generously offered the use of their premises at 5 Old Bond Street for the Elves’ Swapshop.
The environmentally minded Elf-O-Matic gives children a chance to put the ‘reuse, repurpose, recycle’ message into action as they swap used-for-used in a fun and festive way.
Allison Herbert, Chief Executive at the Bath BID, said: “Father Christmas’ elves work so hard every year to ensure children all over the world, and this year, we are keen to give them the recognition they deserve!
“We are delighted to be working with Share and Repair, who work hard in the community all year round to help people save money and help the planet.
“This is an exciting part of our work to bring people into the city over the Christmas period, helping to support Bath’s business community.”
Lorna Montgomery, Founder of Share and Repair, said: “This is the perfect extension of our vision and purpose to inspire and deliver more opportunities for extending the life of items – in this instance, toys. The idea and its implementation are inspirational, and we are delighted to partner with the Bath BID in its delivery. We’re looking forward to having lots of ‘green’ fun for children and adults!”
Vix Fuller said: “I was really excited to be given the chance to make the Elf-O-Matic toy upcycler, not only because it offered the chance to make something intriguing for children but also because I was able to create something that involved upcycling and reusing materials without buying new.
“I have repurposed many old or broken items in this project, including lots of my children’s old toys. Each day, the machine evolved depending on what I found to add. I hope children will be inspired by the Elf-O-Matic, and that the Elves’ Swapshop will show that a toy doesn’t need to be new to be special.”
Cathy French, Head of Communications at St John’s Foundation, said: “St John’s Foundation are delighted to welcome the Elves’ Swapshop into one of our recently vacated buildings. This wonderful initiative aligns perfectly with our strategy to support disadvantaged children aged from birth to 12-years-old living in Bath and North East Somerset.”