Hello, My name is Bea. I founded and organize the ERC in Evanston, IL (USA). Tomorrow we will have our 8th event and, so far, we have served 150 people and fixed 120 items, from lamps and toasters to jackets and bikes… and a nose hair trimmer;)
We are now transitioning to a more “fixit clinic” model, in which tools and coaches are provided, but attendees are the ones actively fixing their stuff… we’ll see how that goes!
A problem that I am finding is that we are getting “regulars” who use the event as a free source of repairs, with no intention of learning or contributing in any other way… I don’t know how I feel about this, but I hope that our new hands-on model deters them from abusing the RC concept.
Another issue that is important to me is the demographics of the ERC. Evanston is quite diverse (well, basically Latinx, African American and White), but this diversity does not translate at our events. I wonder to what extent that is due to the advertising, maybe not attractive to all… or maybe the RC concept is not attractive to people of all ethnic groups? Anyone out there have any similar experience and/or suggestions?
BTW, at tomorrow’s event, we will have a free sewing workshop, a local group that will sharpen garden tools and a new coach-expert in computer diagnosis and repair.
That’s all for now! I’m reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org