What happens at a Repair Café?

When you arrive with an item for repair, you will be asked to complete a registration form. This is purely for our records as we like to keep statistics on the types of repairs most in demand and our success repair rate so that we can ensure that the appropriate repair service is maintained. It will also include a copy of our House Rules.

Depending on the time you turn up and the number of customers, there could be a short wait before a suitable repairer is free but we do our best to keep this waiting time to a minimum. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy a hot drink and some delicious homemade cake in the café. The café runs on a ‘Pay As You Feel’ basis, and combined with donations for repairs it helps to cover costs such as the purchase of consumables, volunteer expenses, hall hire, marketing and insurance.

When an appropriate repairer is free you are invited to sit with them, watch the repair taking place and even assist with it if you so wish. The repairer will always explain exactly what is happening so it’s also a chance for you to learn and pick up some new practical skills.

If your possession is irreparable – and unfortunately sometimes this is the case – the reasons for this will be fully explained and advice given on the safest and easiest way to dispose of it.

Why use a Repair Café?

There are many benefits of choosing repair and re-use instead of buying new:

  • Economic – repairing our possessions can save us all a significant amount of money over time. Often, a very simple repair is all that is needed to extend the usable and useful life of a product for several months or longer. Many products – especially the cheaper household appliances – are poorly designed nowadays and not built to last more than one or two years.
  • Environmental – repair and re-use reduces waste and our use of finite raw materials to make new products. Repair and re-use reduces carbon emissions thus helping to mitigate climate change – and it is also preferable to recycling which can use enormous amounts of energy.
  • Social – a regular Repair Café session has been shown to stimulate civic pride and strengthen communities. By creating a strong sense of harmony and purpose, it brings together those with shared interests and values.

Where is my nearest Repair Café?

We meet monthly at Buckland URC, and occasionally have pop-up events elsewhere.

If you don’t live in the Portsmouth area, find your nearest Repair Café here.