Restarter Volunteer Handbook
Welcome to the Restart Project, you are joining a volunteer-driven project changing the world, one community event at a time.
This handbook (including the safety guidelines) is also available to download in the following formats:
Restarter Volunteer Handbook & Safety Guidelines.pdf (51.6 KB)
Restarter Volunteer Handbook & Safety Guidelines.odt (15.4 KB)
Restarter Volunteer Handbook & Safety Guidelines.docx (19.5 KB)
What is the Restart Project?
The Restart Project is a people-powered platform for change, helping demand emerge for more sustainable, better electronics. We’re based in London but our reach is global.
By working with communities, schools, and companies to value and use electronics longer – and documenting the barriers to doing so – we’re driving a global movement to move beyond the throwaway economy.
We take local action to prevent electronic waste through hands-on, learning events where we help people fix their own electronics – and help others to do the same globally.
We also look at the big picture, generating valuable insights into how to improve electronics for people, from design and manufacture, through use and end of life.
When we act together, people everywhere have the skills and vision to guarantee that technology serves people and planet. Our insights and actions will enable designers, companies and policymakers to fix what we simply cannot on our own.
What are Restart Parties and how do they work?
A Restart Party is a free community event where volunteers help people fix their own broken electricals and electronics, to save them from waste and change our relationship with electronics.
We call them parties because they have a fun, spontaneous spirit, where participants bring food and music, and people often meet and mingle. Parties can occur in different types of venues: pubs, churches, community centres, art galleries and typically last three hours.
The focus of the events is on skillsharing. Participants with broken electronic equipment take an active part in the repair.
Please note that under-age participation is allowed at our events but only in the presence of guardians.
Who are Restarters and what do they do?
A Restarter is 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 come in all shapes and sizes and they 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.
Anyone who volunteers to organise or help with repair at Restart Party is a Restarter - these is no special initiation process. What unites Restarters is the love of a repair challenge and their collaborative approach, they love to share skills.
Why become a Restarter?
- Sharing your experience and knowledge with others feels great!
- It’s completely flexible - volunteer as much as you want, whenever you want
- Learning is both-ways, you learn by narrating and communicating repair
- You get to have a go at repairing a wide variety of devices and faults
- You are helping reduce e-waste and spreading the skills/ motivation to repair
- Restarters also contribute to our radio show, Wiki to inspire and enable others to repair
- We hold events like Fixfest to bring the repair community together
Safety and liability
We have yet to experience a serious safety incident at one of our Restart Parties but our work requires constant vigilance.
As explained in our Safety Guidelines, there is always an experienced Restarter serving as a safety focal point at events. Restart Party hosts also serve as de-facto safety focal points.
Your role as a Restarter is to take safety seriously, helping others and participants to do the same. Mains devices should be treated with the respect they deserve, and tested on arrival and departure. Restarters play a role in this, reminding device owners to get devices tested before they leave.
Should anything occur: a number of Restarters are first aiders. If you sign up to our Safety Guidelines, and adhere to them, you will be covered under our Employers Insurance.
We have disclaimers on all tables at our events which address liability, please encourage participants to read them and understand them. All of our events are covered by public liability insurance, however this cannot extend beyond the event itself.
Restart Parties are learning spaces, the process of learning is valued even more highly that the outcome of the repair. Restarters share their skills with participants and with each other. It’s really important that the owner fully understands what work is being done on their devise and is invited to participate and ask questions as much as possible.
An excellent Restarter is somebody who actively makes others feel welcome, participating in a community spirit. A Restart Party is a party, so sometimes this comes down to simple, small gestures, like finding a chair, making space, offering food or drink, and sharing tools.
Our community is radically open to all people of all appearances, genders, sexualities, nationalities, abilities, backgrounds, political leanings. It is an actively open community, meaning we need to go the extra mile to help traditionally excluded people feel welcome - this is why we have skillshares for women and non-binary people.
Please consider how others may think and feel, and how comments or actions may be perceived in a diverse community. We all make mistakes or assumptions about others, no matter how open we think we are. When people express discomfort or raise an issue, please listen carefully first before reacting.
Let’s get fixing!
Join our global online community at talk.restarters.net
Get help and support to organise community repair event and connect with electronics repairers around the world!