Repair cafe

Saturday 17th February 2018

All Saints Youth and Community Hall, Roman Place (opposite the barracks)

4.30pm - 7.30pm

Sustainable Didcot will be running our first “Repair Cafe” on 17th February 2018. At the Repair Cafe, we will try to fix broken household items in a collaborative and social way. We will have expert volunteer fixers on hand to work with you to support:

  • repairs of household electrical items (incl. computers)
  • advice with simple computer problems
  • gluing broken items/toys
  • mending clothes/up-cycling/fabric crafts
  • clocks, watches and mechanical items
  • sharpening knives, tools, etc.

We're particularly interested in repairing electrical items as part of a large county wide project to tackle waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). We will PAT test any electrical items to make sure they are safe.

We will be serving tea, coffee and cakes throughout the evening to make it into a social occasion.

So, bring along your broken (or unwanted) electrical items, household items and clothes or blunt tools and we will try to help you repair them. Please don’t bring anything that you can’t carry (contact us if you are unsure!). You can also donate any unwanted electrical items for us, and we will test them and pass them on to a new home.

The idea is not to provide an anonymous fixing service, but help people learn what needed to be done so that they can gain knowledge from the experts. The items that we can fix will depend entirely on the expertise of our volunteer fixers.

You can find more details about the Repair Cafe concept, and the international network of repair cafes here.

We have a Facebook event here.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you give more details of what exactly I can bring?

You can bring any small household electrical item (e.g. kettle, radio, hifi, lamp, etc.). Please don't bring white goods or anything you can't carry. You can also bring watches, clocks or mechanical items (e.g. gramophone, metronome etc.). We probably won't have spare parts if they are needed, but hopefully will be able to recommend what is needed.

We should be able to help with advice about simple computer problems (hardware, or software, or a tune-up), so bring your laptops etc. (or just come with a question for advice).

You can bring any broken item that needs gluing - e.g. china, plastic toys etc. We will have various kinds of glue such as araldite, super glue etc.

You can bring clothes or fabrics - we can help with buttons, simple patches, or up-cycling suggestions. We will have experts with sewing machines to help you.

You can bring tools or knives for sharpening.

Note: we cannot fix the following items: white goods, CRTs, any safety related item (smoke alarm etc.), or weapons of any kind.

If you are unsure, please contact us.


What about bicycles?

Its worth bringing a bicycle to see what we can do. We should be able to do simple adjustments/maintenance and try to diagnose any problems, but we might not have specialist tools. We won't have any spares (Mountain Mania are open until 5.30pm though).

We'll be working with the Broken Spoke Bike Co-op to do some bicycle maintenance sessions in the Summer.


Will it cost anything?

No, there is no charge to enter or to fix anything (but we would be happy to receive a donation to cover costs if we manage to fix your item!)


Do I need to let you know in advance, or just turn up?

Feel free to drop in anytime, and our volunteers will help diagnose whats wrong and fix your items. If it gets busy, we may ask you to wait a short while until a fixer becomes free - tea, coffee and homemade cake will be available!


Will you definately be able to fix my item?

Our fixers are all volunteers and we can't guarantee to fix everything - some things may require spare parts, or be outside of our expertise (or just be too complicated to fix on the spot). In this case we will try to advise you what needs to be done, or suggest someone else to go to.


If my item is unfixable, can I leave it with you to be recycled?

If something really is unfixable, we would prefer if you took it back and recycled it yourself.


Can I drop off broken items that might be fixable, but that I don't want back?

Yes, you can bring us something to try and fix, and we'll find a new home for it if we mend it. We're especially interested in electrical items!


Do I need to bring something to come along, or can I just come to see what its about?

Feel free to pop in for a chat and some cake, even if you don't have something for us to fix!


What about the existing repair shops in Didcot - are you trying to compete with them?

No, we're not trying to compete with professional repair shops - we would actually like to support them! We're aiming to fix small things and things that repair shops don't want to deal with. Let us know if you think theres a problem, and we'll try to take account of it. We won't have any spares, and we will direct you to one of the proffessional repair shops for more complicated fixes. We're trying to compile a list of the best places to take items for repair locally - let us know if there is someone to add to the list.

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