Repair Cafes


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Greening Chinnor were very excited to be part of the successful 2018 bid for funding of an initial Repair Café network in Oxfordshire. Working with The CAG Project, Oxford County Council and other Oxfordshire Community Action Groups our aim is to repair items that would be thrown away but could be mended. This year we are taking part in the Nationwide Big Fix 2020 organised by Devon County Council. To find out more about the Big Fix 2020 check out this link.

For an an explainer about the Big Fix 2020 check out this short, eye catching video

We throw away vast amounts of stuff, even things with almost nothing wrong which could get a new lease of life after a simple repair. The trouble is that lots of us have forgotten that we can easily repair things ourselves.

Repair Cafés are free community events where skilled volunteers help people fix their own items to save them from going to waste. The focus is on skill-sharing and an enjoyable ongoing learning process.

Knowing how to fix things is a skill quickly being lost to our modern society and with a Repair Café invaluable practical knowledge is passed on. Items are being used for longer and don’t have to be thrown away. This reduces the volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new items. It cuts CO2 emissions for example, because manufacturing new products and recycling old ones causes CO2 to be released.

With the funding and support we ran two Repair Cafes in Chinnor in 2018 with an additional 2 in 2019. We plan to continue hosting Repair Cafes throughout 2020.

We see Repair Cafés as a valuable, resourceful and educational community project and a natural extension to the work we undertake in Chinnor particularly with supporting Swap Shops.
Repair Café is an international movement that encourages people to think about re-using and repairing items rather than throwing them away.

The Café helps the community to continue using and enjoying items they love. It also develops skills, reduces waste and CO2 emissions, and encourages a sustainable community.

Volunteers Required

Do you like fixing things, hate throwing anything away, like helping people and like a challenge?

Then join our team of ‘fixers’ for our Repair Café. Don’t be put off by the term expert or fixer. If you can change a plug or thread a needle you have a skill others need.  Many items only need a gentle tinker rather than a full repair so fixers don’t need to be formally qualified.

If you like facilitating or helping with tea and cakes, we need you too.

Interested? Email me at greeningchinnor@gmail.com for more details.

We are particularly looking to recruit volunteers in the following areas:
  • Camera repairs enthusiast
  • Carpenters
  • Catering – help with tea and cakes
  • Computer fixers
  • Craft people
  • Electricians
  • Electronics
  • Enthusiastic DIYers
  • Event photographer
  • First aider 
  • Front of house / registration
  • Glues & screws ‘expert’
  • Jewellery repairer
  • Photographer
  • Plumbers 
  • Sewing enthusiast 
  • Tool sharpener
  • Upcyclers
  • Watch/clock expert 
  • Etc, etc
Frequently Asked Questions

Can you give more details of what exactly I can bring?
  • You can bring any small household electrical item (e.g. kettle, radio, hifi, lamp, etc.). Please don't bring white goods or anything you can't carry. You can also bring toys and mechanical items. We probably won't have spare parts if they are needed, but hopefully will be able to recommend what is needed.
  • You can bring any broken item that needs gluing - e.g. china, plastic toys etc. We will have various kinds of glue such as araldite, super glue etc.
  • You can bring clothes or textiles - we can help with buttons, simple patches, etc
Note: we cannot fix the following items:
  • white goods, CRTs, any safety related item (smoke alarm etc.), or weapons of any kind.
If you are unsure, please contact us.

What about bicycles?
  • We are hoping to have a fixer for bicycles. Keeping checking our website for details
Will it cost anything?
  • No, there is no charge to enter or to fix anything (but we would be happy to receive a donation to cover costs if we manage to fix your item!)
Do I need to let you know in advance, or just turn up?
  • There will be a booking form which will go up on our website 2 weeks before the Repair Cafe. This gives us an idea of what is coming in. However, you don't need to book. Feel free to drop in anytime, and our volunteers will help diagnose what's wrong and fix your items. If it gets busy, we may ask you to wait a short while until a fixer becomes free - tea, coffee and homemade cake will be available!
Will you definitely be able to fix my item?
  • Our fixers are all volunteers and we can't guarantee to fix everything - some things may require spare parts, or be outside of our expertise (or just be too complicated to fix). In this case we will try to advise you what needs to be done, or suggest someone else to go to.
If my item is unfixable, can I leave it with you to be recycled?
  • If something really is unfixable, we would prefer if you took it back and recycled it yourself.
Can I drop off broken items that might be fixable, but that I don't want back?
  • Sorry not at this cafe.
Do I need to bring something to come along, or can I just come to see what its about?
  • Feel free to pop in for a chat and some cake, even if you don't have something for us to fix!

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