Do you like fixing things? Join Kingston's
Repair Café Kingston upon Thames is a neighbourhood initiative that promotes repair as an alternative to tossing things out. Transition Town Kingston is organising a Repair Café on the first Saturday morning of every month, starting in February 2023, in Kingston Library, where residents can bring their broken items to fix on the spot with the help of voluntary repairers.
Repair Café Kingston has some excellent volunteer repair experts with an impressive range of skills, but more are always welcome to share their knowledge and experience during Repair Café sessions, helping members of the community to keep usable stuff out of the waste system and and showing them how to do simple repairs. The more volunteers we have the more certain we can be of being able to offer a good range of repairs, and the more likely it is that volunteers can cover for absences. We are especially looking for people who enjoy fixing:
* clothing / textiles * musical instruments
* electrical appliances * furniture / wooden objects
* china * anything else you could offer - clocks, toys and other mechanical items…
In addition, we are also looking for people could help with hosting Repair Cafes. You would organise coffee, tea, biscuits and/or cake, welcome visitors, serve as a contact point for both visitors and repairers, and help with clearing up and washing up at the end of the morning (we were using disposable paper cups but recently invested in more environmentally-friendly re-usable cups).
Safeguarding: we require at least 2 volunteer repairers per table/group (#2, clothing and textiles; #3 & #4, electrical and electronics; #5 & #6, triage and miscellaneous repairs) - so that volunteers can advise and support each other and cope with demand. Working in pairs and in one large room ensures that no one is ever alone with a visitor, and protects volunteers and visitors from unreasonable behaviour or complaints. Volunteers should also read and familiarise themselves with our Safeguarding Policy, everyone should read Repair Cafe House Rules, and visitors should register and sign disclaimers, which clarify what to expect in terms of repairs and behaviour. The RCK organising team all wear red badges so that they are easy to spot in case of problems.
Repair Cafe Kingston takes place from 10.30am to 1.30pm on the first Saturday of every month in the community room of Kingston Library, Fairfield Road, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2PS. Repair Cafes are sociable events with tea/coffee and biscuits/cake for volunteers and visitors, as well as repairs. Volunteers would be expected to arrive at 10.00am for briefing, Q&A, and setting up, but, depending on the number of volunteer fixers and the demand for repairs, they may not be needed every month.
Repair kit: we provide as much basic equipment as we can, including sewing machines and consumables such as glue, sandpaper etc, but, in common with other repair cafes, we rely on and appreciate our volunteers bringing along some of their own tools, which may well be better quality and more specialist than we could provide. We ask volunteers to get to know what's in their table's storage box and to let us know if there is anything useful missing or needing replacement that we could purchase.
Want to know more about the Repair Café? See the page of Repair Cafe updates on this website, have a look at the international website repaircafe.org/en and/or come along to one of our Saturday morning sessions to meet us and have a chat.
Want to sign up as a volunteer? Please read the useful information below and if you would then be happy to help with fixing things, email firstname.lastname@example.org outlining in the first instance what kind of repairs you could offer. The next stage after that will be to read the info and fill in your details on the Volunteers' form that we will send you.
You might like to visit Kingston Library, if in the area, to have a look at the former reference library/community room - it's a lovely space to work in and is already quite well used by community groups, often starting at 10.30am, so 10.00am, just after the Library opens, seems to be a good time to visit.
- For the repairs we can't do - see https://www.ttkingston.org/ttk-groups-and-projects/kingston-repair-cafe/repair-shops/ for a growing list of repair shops. If you have recommendations, please let us know.
- Repair Cafe House Rules https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/other/repair-cafe-house-rules
- Repair Cafe Manual https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/other/repair-cafe-manual
- Working safely in the Repair Cafe https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/other/working-safely