How to improve repair events + 2020 planning (community call, 10/12/19) 📞

:warning: This call has now finished. Thanks to everyone who came! We’ll be posting notes below soon.

2019 has been pretty amazing year for repair! So, as it draws to a close, let’s use our last community call of the year to reflect on what we’ve learned and share ideas for how to make 2020 even better :muscle:

Join us right here on Tuesday the 10th to talk about:

  • Things we’ve learnt this year :bookmark: - a chance to share experiences and stories
  • Ideas we want to try next year :bulb: - such as how to improve events or start new ones, get into schools, get involved with campaigning, use data better etc.
  • Key dates for 2020 :spiral_calendar: (such as The Big Fix and International Repair Day)

And as always, it will also be a chance to connect with others from the community.


2019-12-10T20:00:00Z for 1 hour
(click/tap the time above to see it in your time zone)


Here :arrow_down:

You’ll be able to disable video and just use audio if you prefer. There will also be an option to dial in from a mobile or landline (though this will be charged). Instructions for doing that are here.

What will we be discussing?

  • Opening round (a chance for everyone to introduce themselves & share anything they’d like to discuss)
  • Discussion of the main topic: a look back on 2019 and look ahead to 2020
  • A chance to talk about any burning questions or a topic that someone’s brought on the day
  • Roundup & close

Total duration: 1 hour

How will it work?

The video chat is powered by Jitsi Meet, an open source video conferencing tool. You’re welcome to use video and audio or audio-only.

:laptop: If you use a desktop or laptop computer, it should work in most browsers without needing plugins.
:phone: If you’re on mobile, you’ll need to download the Jitsi Meet app for Android or iOS.

Would you like to come along?

Great! No need to RSVP, just turn up :slight_smile:

:bell: If you’d like a reminder on the day, let me know by replying below :+1:

Any questions? Feel free to ask below


Hi James

Is this community call for hosts as well as repairers? If it’s for everyone, please could you send a reminder on the day?


Hi @Rosemary,

Yep, this call is for anyone who is (or wants to be) involved in community repair events. I’ll ping you a reminder on the day :+1:

Hi james will this video chat be available as a reply? the time isn’t convenient for 3 people that are planning a new repair group in my area, ironically because they will all be in a meeting together where most likely talking about starting the repair cafe will be one of the topics!

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Hi @steven_charles,

We don’t currently record calls I’m afraid, but I will post a summary of what we discuss the next day. It’s cool to hear there are some people planning a new group - and yep, ironic that they can’t make it for that very reason!

Of course they’re more than welcome to ask for advice in the #community-repair section of the forum any time and there will be another community call in mid-Jan. They can also read through our #restart-party-kit resources for info on how to run an event, safety & insurance and so on :slight_smile:

Salut @james
Merci pour ce nouvel appel communautaire. Je voudrais bien recevoir un rappel.
À bientôt.

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Great! It’ll be nice to finally speak Elias :slight_smile:
I’ll add you to the list.

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Thanks a lot @james. Have good day.

Looking forward to my first community call!! :wink:

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Thanks for this, I shall try to be present

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Sounds good - the Android jitsi meet app link above doesn’t work for me - this one does:

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Great to hear you’re coming too Tom, Marie and Chris!

Thanks for flagging the broken link @chris_setz - I’ve updated the original post with the link you found :+1:

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Thanks James - can’t make tomorrow sadly as I’m attending a London restart party in Kentish Town at the time.
Look forward to the results though.

I wrote up an article on my website of my advice and experience.

This is happening tonight!

We’ll officially start 2019-12-10T19:00:00Z but the room will be open 5 minutes beforehand to help everyone get set up. Find the room here:

You can also dial in from a phone if you prefer (though this will be charged). Instructions for doing that are here.

Speak later on!

EDIT: This call has now finished.

A huge thanks to everyone who joined this call!
If you missed it, no worries, here’s a summary of what we discussed:

:busts_in_silhouette: Who was in the room?

:speaking_head: What did we talk about?

We started by discussing some of the community repair challenges we encountered in 2019 and then moved on to talk about how we could try to address these in 2020 (along with our other plans).

Logging data :bar_chart:

One of the challenges many of us reported facing is balancing facilitation and recording repair data. At a busy event it can be hard to make sure that repairs are logged in detail while managing everything else. Steve shared that in Market Harborough, they use a paper slip that follows each item through the event. They’ve tried asking participants to record some of the repair journey on this slip, but that it’s tricky not to make the form too long as it’s also used to ask questions about the participant themselves (e.g. “how did you find out about this event?”)

Rosemary shared that in Ickenham, they’ve worked to establish a variety of hosting roles, such as welcomers :wave: to greet new arrivals and someone focused on data collection :chart_with_upwards_trend: (both information about visitors and repair data). This seems to work well and is also something Steve has tried.

We also talked about the importance of better-communicating why we collect repair data as a way of introducing broader concepts around the Right to Repair :r2r: and the environmental benefits of repairing things. We agreed that this could be a useful way of getting buy-in from participants.

Looking after ourselves and our volunteers (avoiding fatigue and burnout) :hugs:

A number of us reported wanting to do more at events and run more events, but being concerned about putting too much pressure on everyone involved (particularly organisers, hosts and repairers). Marie shared that in Leicestershire, she and Divya have been organising most of the network’s activity over the last 5 years, which has been very tiring. Others also shared similar worries about asking too much of already committed volunteers.

We discussed ways to build capacity sustainably both for individual groups and networks of groups. Ideas shared included:

  • recruiting enough volunteers to avoid over-relying on a small number of people
  • training regular volunteers up to take on new roles and responsibilities
  • sharing knowledge and best practice between local groups
  • funding for volunteer expenses to reduce barriers to participation and allow expansion to new areas
  • funding organiser roles (not just project-based funding) to allow key organisers to dedicate more time to growing the group and network

Recruiting volunteers :raised_hand:

Finding enough people to volunteer—especially repairers—came up as an issue for a number of people.

Elias spoke about the difficulty of asking people in Benin to volunteer, saying that people tend to expect to be paid. As such, LES 100TINEL Fix Club is having to work hard to make the case for volunteering.

Steve talked about successfully finding volunteers in a variety of places including via Facebook, local media (e.g. radio), churches and other local networks and through adopting an inclusive approach.

Word of mouth is another important driver and can help bring together local communities, as Rosemary said has happened for her group.

Plans for 2020 :memo:

Looking ahead, lots of us shared exciting plans for next year and ideas for addressing some of the challenges discussed.

Elias has lots of ambitious plans for 2020, including planning Fixfest Benin :hammer_and_wrench:, running a repair workshop in an inclusive education centre, a volunteer-recognition event as well as increasing the overall volunteer base.

Tom from Maakbar Leuven will be organising more training sessions for repairers :mortar_board: (both new and experienced) and hopes to then design ‘train the trainer’ sessions to deliver these more widely.

Marie is going to oversee the transformation of Leicester Fixers to become Leicestershire Fixers to better reflect the broad network of repair groups they’ve helped establish over the last few years. At the same time, there will be a renewed focus on the city of Leicester.

Steve is planning to set up Market Harborough Fixers in a new Eco village and is keen to introduce elements showcasing how local repair events fit into a broader story (such as the Right to Repair campaign :r2r:).

Rosemary would like to work more closely with the London network to better-coordinate event schedules and make it easier for volunteers to move between groups/events. Cc: @Vanessa_Ternes

Key 2020 dates :spiral_calendar:

For anyone else looking at 2020 planning, here are some key dates to look out for:

  • The Big Fix - Britian’s biggest repair café: dozens of repair groups across the UK will be hosting an event on the 15th of February 2020 to celebrate and showcase repair.

  • Fixfest UK 2020 - stay tuned for details of the second gathering for the UK repair community, likely to be held in the middle of 2020. More information soon.

  • International Repair Day - Repair day will be back on the 17th of October 2020. Be sure to plan an event for that day and join the global celebration of repair!

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This seems like a great idea @Rosemary - where and how did you recruit your “data” volunteer?

Hi Janet

It was luck really! As we were a group before we started hosting Restart Parties (Hillingdon Friends of the Earth), there are 4 of us who usually attend. The roles we have adopted are:

  1. Welcome and offer refreshments to visitors and also regularly to Restarters.

  2. Use flip chart to collect this info – 1st name, how did you know about the event, item type (e.g vacuum cleaner), item brand, item model, item age and description of fault. Details of resolution collected before they leave.

  3. Engage with those waiting, take photos with agreement of subjects and post to Facebook.

4.Restarter and sewing repairer.

1,2 and 3 also chat to the fixer and visitor to ‘see how it’s going’.

Hope others starting up might find this useful, but sorry I can’t really help with recruiting volunteers. We were lucky!

Happy Christmas to you all


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