Be a Restarter!
Synonyms: repairer, fixer
n. A person who likes helping people learn how to fix broken electronics or electricals – anything with a battery or that plugs in – with a few exceptions, like microwaves.
Restarters have diverse skills. Some help with basic electrical fixing involving changing fuses and plugs. Others deal with software issues on laptops and mobiles. Yet others take on intricate electronics repairs involving soldering.
And still others will help to facilitate these repairs, welcoming people, finding chairs, facilitating conversation, and helping the event to run smoothly.
What unites Restarters is the love of a repair challenge and their collaborative approach, they love to share skills.
Meet some of our Restarters and Restart Party Hosts.
Finding your first volunteers
People often get anxious about the number of Restarters needed to host an event. With three or four volunteers, we encourage groups to go ahead and schedule an event.
You can run your first event event if your initial volunteers can only cover limited skills. More Restarters will appear. If you host it, they will come! Put in the extra effort to make your volunteers happy and you will have no problem recruiting more.
Building a group of local volunteers is great for the sustainability of your events. We recommend setting up a Volunteer Welcome Session, a 30-60 min induction which gives potential volunteers a chance to find out what becoming a Restarter its all about how to get involved. Set this up as a separate event on whichever website or platform you are using to advertise so this its clear this is for people who want to volunteer. Below is a plan for how to run your own welcome session.
Volunteer Welcome Session
Duration: 30-60mins (just prior to a Restart Party)
Potential volunteers should:
- Feel a part of a larger community, and know how to get in contact with everyone
- Understand the basic workings of a Restart party, including role of host, role of the Restarter, safety, and logging data
- Understand community values: friendliness, collaborative learning, radical openness
- Coloured stickers for ice-breaker game
- Printed copies of the safety guidelines and volunteer handbook
- Invite another Restarter to co-facilitate
Facilitator(s) introduce themselves
Ice-breaker game [5 mins]
As people arrive take a sticker based on confidence with electrical repair:
- Green: What’s a fuse?
- Yellow: I dabble in electrical repair
- Red: I’m a basically a pro
Go-round the group introducing yourselves and one thing about your electronic repair history i.e. ‘I’m Ellie and I once fixed a toaster with spoke’, ‘I’m Paul and this is my first fixing experience’.
What is Restart? [2 mins]
We are consuming too much, too fast and feeling frustrated, lets fix our relationship with electronics! The Restart Project aims to move beyond throw-away economy through pop-up community repair events.
The Restarter community [3 mins]
- There are 2 key roles which Restarters play: party hosts and fixers
- What to expect: new Restarters buddy-up with more experienced fixers for their first few events to build skill and confidence; everyone has different weaknesses and strengths, stay within your comfort zone; there are no stupid questions, when we don’t ask we deny ourselves the opportunity to learn - so ask questions of other Restarters
- We are a global community with big ambitions, to fully participate in join the Restart ‘Talk’ forum
Community values [7 mins]
Explain the community values with particular focus on:
Enabling people to participate in the repair of their own devises is one of the radical and unique things community repair events.
You could use a role play to explore how to engage people in repair.
Facilitator 1 plays an over-zealous fixer
Facilitator 2 plays an under-confident attendee not taking part in repair
Play out a scene and then ask how could have gone differently? How could you involve people in repairs?
Basic Restart Party safety [5 mins]
Have a copy of the Safety Guidelines call out each of the following asking them to respond with a way to minimise risk i.e. you say ‘drinks’, they call-back ‘not near electricity’.
- Extension leads
- Prying on screens
Working with electricity [8 mins]
Explain the following points from the Safety Guidelines:
- There is a point person for tech/ safety questions at each event - they should be identified to all Restarters
- Always ask a question about safety if you have one
- Nobody should work outside their comfort-zone
- There is a distinction between mains and battery-powered devices (go through the few concerns about these)
- Mains devices:
- PAT testing - we do this before and after working on a device at a Restart Party
- Live testing (i.e. testing a mains device whilst disassembled) - this is only done in pairs and with consent from safety point person
- Signing up to the safety guidelines is a way of “joining” and getting insured individually under our “employers insurance” if you adhere to them - so please do read them!
Wrap up [2mins]
- Any questions?
- Hand out safety guideline sheets: make sure you collect signed copied from all new volunteers
- Buddy up volunteers with experienced fixers
If you have a longer time-slot you could introduce some basic repair skills such as how to use a multimeter or PAT tester; talk about data capture for the Fixometer; or allow more time for questions.