Have you heard of repair cafes? They were originally set up in the Netherlands in 2009 with the aim of helping people fix items for free to avoid waste and to build a sense of community. Currently there are 11 repair cafes in Devon with more planned in the coming year and there are over 1619 across the world, in 33 countries.
The 11 Devon repair cafes are run by the community for the community. Skilled menders and talented amateurs give their time and expertise for free to help people fix items that might have otherwise been thrown away. They usually run monthly and depending on who is there and what skills they have, they will attempt to fix everything from hairdryers to bikes to jewellery repairs.
- Exeter Repair Cafe
- Exmouth Repair Cafe
- Tiverton Repair Cafe
- Blackdown Hills Repair Cafe
- Sidmouth Repair Cafe
- Dartington Repair Cafe
- Crediton Repair Cafe
- Ashburton Repair Cafe
- North Tawton Repair Cafe
- Bradninch Repair Cafe
- Bishopsteignton Repair Cafe
- ChudFix Repair Cafe – coming soon!
So, what happens at a repair café?
You will be met at the front desk by volunteer, who will ask you to fill in some paperwork and then you will be given a number. When the mender you need is available, you will be shown to their work station. Then you will get to watch as your items is hopefully fixed. Then as you leave hand in your paperwork and don’t forget to leave your donation.
Repair cafes are an amazing community resource, staffed by people who give their time for free. Perhaps you have some time or skills that you contribute, volunteers of all descriptions always needed so if you have any admin skills or are good with social media, consider popping along to your repair café to find out if you can help.
The world has limited resources – let’s not waste them.
The Restart Project
The Restart Project is trying to help people value and use their electronics for longer by repairing them when they break. They help communities run local repair events where people can work with skilled volunteers to give their broken or slow electronic devices a second life, from tablets to toasters, from iPhones to headphones. They also work with schools and organisations to help them value and use their electronics for longer.
By bringing people together to share skills and gain the confidence to open up their stuff, they give people a hands-on way of making a difference.