Weekly project group Zoom meetings, every Thursday evening, 6.30 - 7.00ish, Dec 2022 - Feb 2023 - most recent updates at the top. Please ask MM if you want to join in. 

Monthly meetings on Zoom since March, on 4th Mondays, 6.30 - 7.00ish

Now in website assets FYI and use as and when:
A4 poster https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/other/a4-poster-rck
A4 poster pdf https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/other/a4-rck-poster-pdf
Volunteers form revised Repair Café Volunteers' form Jan 2023 v2
RCK landing page QR code at https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/images/rck-landing-page-qr-code
Shared pics at https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1CDH-tGqRsbQwfja53zB_XXi7HvN-g1r4
RCK organisers' tasks - who does what
now filed at https://www.ttkingston.org/ttk-repair-cafe-project/rck-tasks/ (a page that can be edited and updated as and when).


Public Links:

General, RCK landing page - https://www.ttkingston.org/repair-cafe-kingston/
For volunteers - https://www.ttkingston.org/ttk-groups-and-projects/kingston-repair-cafe/repair-cafe-volunteering/
For visitors - https://www.ttkingston.org/repair-cafe-kingston/repair-cafe-guidance-for-vis/
House rules - general https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/other/repair-cafe-house-rules


RCK organisers’ meeting, Monday 25 March, 6.30 – 7.00pm, Zoom

Present: Damon, Hilary, Marilyn

Apologies: Paul

Notes (not v different from the agenda sent earlier, much of it just points of info!)

- Next RCK, Sat 6th April – all 3 of us + Paul + Maya (we hope) would be there

- RC Conference survey? Conference on 21 June @ Farnham, hopefully a hybrid event. DHD filled in the survey then and there re challenges and topics we’d like discussed.

- TTK AGM + drinks and nibbles on 30/4 - invitations. MM had put “save the date” in the RCK WhatsApp group, will need t b confirmed. DHD would sort out on 26th, cost could be an issue? 

- Who does what now filed at https://www.ttkingston.org/ttk-repair-cafe-project/rck-tasks/ 
- Insurance – the good news from GSRCN is that there is no record of a RC being sued,

-  Video/voice-over? Photos? Stats? for RBK comms – Our “Community Resilience Fund story - We just want you to tell your story you by answering four or five questions” DHD would get back to work on expanding and editing. Thank you to Paul for latest data.

- Useful new volunteers need volunteers form: jonathan jjfisher@ml1.net + deputy reception/ refresments offer, (Student volunteer Qingyun Wan didn’t turn up to Feb RCK tho’ she said she would – do we give up on her?)
- Posters & Fliers – 250 (or more?) A5 for £41.96  - Faye working on a minor redesign to make it look a bit different & be more eyecatching, also to include a bleed. A5 is acceptable for community notice boards, so 90+ would go out immediately.

Next Zoom RCK catch-up would be on Monday 22/4. 6.30pm as usual. (Recurring meeting link for 2024 https://us04web.zoom.us/j/72602231982?pwd=pwQsLemA0Vb0yc2KBT8DrjbDS4nqeY.1

RCK organisers’ meeting, Monday 29 Jan, 6.30pm, Zoom (Recurring meeting link for 2024 https://us04web.zoom.us/j/72602231982?pwd=pwQsLemA0Vb0yc2KBT8DrjbDS4nqeY.1)
Present: Marilyn, Paul Damon, Hilary


-          RCK 1st birthday celebration on 3/2HG would check protocol and look after and introduce our 2 VIPs, the Mayor and Ed, and PM would bake or buy a 1st birthday cake (big enough for 20ish?). MM would invite the librarians to celebrate with us too.

-          MM had attended RC on-line Conference on 26th, had reported back to RCK project group – we are fairly typical, if smaller than some, and should certainly continue to recruit so that we had reserves for all tables. MM would share some insights/advice (e g about occasionally reminding themselves of our codes of conduct, house rules etc) with volunteers via WhatsApp and at our next RC.

-          DHD also thought it useful for anyone who’d done a PAT training to refresh their knowledge every 6 months or so. He shared the link to the free training he’d done - https://www.onlinepattestingcourse.co.uk/pat-testing-course/ - to share with the WhatsApp group

-          MM had also shared the KVA 1st Aid course on Monday 5 Feb - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/emergency-first-aid-at-work-for-charitiescommunity-groups-tickets-795188599507 - hoped more would volunteer. DHD & HG interested and MF had done the course.

-          MM had done the shopping suggested by HG (pins, scissors), and would buy biscuits and milk on Sat.

-          How is RCK doing carbon-wise (PM)? Would be nice to have an annual tally of carbo saved for the AGM, and for publicity. (Restart could provide this info but would require a lot of data.)

-          GSRC Network? DHD would attend the next on-line meeting on Th 8th, 7pm, MM would send details in case DHD did not have them.

-          DHD would be absent from Feb and August RCKs

For later, or Tues 30th evening

-          We all get all repair@ emails - but MM ignores most of them, is that OK?

-          Can we finalise our “job descriptions” to facilitate deputising for each other occasionally – and maybe organise them better?

-          From London annual Repair Week, 18-24th March, via Leonard at RBK:
I’m emailing to encourage you to engage with the campaign and promote more repair behaviours in your borough!  

Repair Week ‘24 invites Londoners to gain repair skills, fall back in love with their stuff and help save some money and the planet. It is a showcase week of repair services and events across London, designed to give Londoners the confidence to get repairing and give businesses and organisations a chance to showcase their repair offerings.  

We couldn’t change our dates or offers to suit London but MM could send Leonard info and pics to “showcase” RCK – and remind him of other local repair offers e g STWC?



RCK organisers’ meeting, Monday 27 November, 6.30pm, Zoom

Present: Marilyn (MM), Damon (DHD), Hilary HG), Paul PM)

- Cllr Kirsch coming to next RCK, Ed Davey has open invite, Mayor invited to 1st anniversary in Feb (HG?)

- PAT training: DHD has researched, will raise at next RCK and arrange as needed. Takers so far are DHD, Alan, Pandora. Experts/those qualified can pass on what they know/supervise others.

- Stuff: extra extension lead (MM, found and will bring one!) We can use the power-point outside the doorway with this new lead and another circuit-breaker (MM has purchased from Screwfix)
Long screwdriver (MM has purchased from Screwfix). DHD has bought a Zettle, and would bring clamp(s) as requested. We could thank and remind volunteers to BYO.

- Spring Grove celebration on 5thnumbers tbc, we agreed that RCK could contribute £50 towards the party. [DHD & MM would buy rounds/drinks to start with]

- Transfer of funds/surpluses after expenses t b calculated at the end of our financial year (March?): 10% of our resilience funding + 10% of surplus monthly takings at the end of year. DHD mentioned that £500 would soon be coming the way of TTK and we agreed that we didn’t need the funds from Nominet.
- Repair forms: MM had printed 20 ish, HG would print some more as we often had up to 30 repairs.

- MM updated on on-line meeting with Marion (Library Service) and Leonard (RBK Waste Reduction) and Traid organiser on a possible Traid upcycling textiles workshop in Jan or Feb – Traid were looking for shared space and mutual publicity more than anything – and the organiser would be checking out the space (including power-points), possibly with a view to following on from RCK on a Satruday afternoon. Our volunteers and equipment not needed. MM had also discussed Library of Things (LoT) with Leonard– MM had pointed out some of the difficulties - insurance, time, spares etc -   of RCK maintaining LoT equipment, has suggested STWC as a useful repair workshop. DHD suggested that RCk could triage, undertake simple repairs and direct others to STWC or repair shops, and LoT would need to budget for repair expenses.

- Sewing machines not currently in good working order – MM hoped that Pandora, and later Linda Harrington, could get them running smoothly on Saturday.

- Check-list for RCK briefings and updates – intended as a crib sheet so that any of us could brief, give reminders, and answer Qs. It was suggested that important regular things (including using PATs at start and finish of repairs, newbies to complete volunteer forms, all to complete repair forms, tell us about consumables needed...) were at the top, and everyone was at liberty to select and use as needed – MM would revise a bit and bring copies on Sat.

- Aggregating our mini media survey results, and assuming they are reasonable typical, posters and fliers seem to be the most seen, closely followed by hearing by word of mouth, with Facebook and Instagram the most seen on-line and Kingston Council (website? newsletters?). A couple of volunteers had come to us via Restart and Freegle, and a couple more via Facebook. We could one day carry out a more rigorous survey perhaps, but it looks as though we should carry on posting wherever we can for now.

- A “holiday“ rota so that we could take turns having the occasional Saturday morning off; writing down our ususal roles and tasks so that others could deputise would help – MM would organise on the 2nd, and we could then share on-line.

- Etc/AOB – PM and DHD need to resolve DHD’s access to Open Collective for claiming expenses.

(Carried over for another time - can/should we have another go at getting volunteers to make their own rotas?)



RCK organisers' meeting, Monday 23 October, 6.30pm, Zoom

Present: MM, DHD

Apols: HG, PMc 

Updates & Actions:

- Media survey – a v tiny sample at our last meeting found a couple who’d seen the new posters. MM hopes to survey both volunteers and visitors at next RCK to see which media are working best for us.

- Data – PMc had sent recent stats earlier, and also a link to useful data on the types of repair we do, numbers, successes and failures – MM had shared with the student Joseph Storr, RCK organisers and would try to share with the volunteers on WhatsApp, and would use updated data when accounting to RBK for our funding spends. In the meantime, she would contact Shadia @ RBK to see if there was anything needed now, and to reassure that spending was on course and being done sensibly etc.

- New volunteer, emailed earlier by DHD – MM thought he should be on Triage/Other and also that help with hosting would be v welcome.

- PAT training – DHD to find out more – when and how?

- Zettle replacement (SumUp?) – DHD and MF to sort out, ideally before 4/11, our next RCK.

- Next VIPs? Was Ed Davey likely to come in November? Should we invite leader of the Council instead or as well? Invitation to Mayor (to RCK 1st birthday in Feb and welcomed in principle), needs t b confirmed. Could HG please decide and arrange?

- GSRCN – Next on-line meeting 02 November 18:00-19:00 – DHD would attend – and had sent round notes from last meeting earlier. UK RC Conference notes at https://cfsd.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/UK-Repair-Cafe-Conference-Key-Issues-Product-Repair.pdf

- Vapes into lights – would now happen at another time, not December RCK.

- Drinks, socials... would be decided at next TTK CG meeting at Druids Head on 31/10



RCK organisers meeting, Monday 25 Sept, 6.30pm, Zoom (MM's notes, based on earlier email and the bits she managed to pick up this evening + HG's)

Apologies: PMc (repair forms from last time still t b uploaded); MM who couldn’t get her speakers to connect.

Present: HG, DHD, MF – they would let the others know any decisions or actions, and discussions could continue if necessary on Tues 26th at CG /GD meeting. Welcome back, HG!

- Publicity – MM had contacted Surbiton’s Good Life and Berrylands Companion magazines.
A4 posters and A5 fliers (more than ordered because some were not cropped 100% right and so the printer replaced theml) had arrived, and posters and some fliers delivered to Libraries and to Chris Rimington at RBK for community notice boards. And we’ll have some for Green Libraries Week clothing/textiles upcycling event in K Library, on evening of 5/10, and for RCK drop-ins.

Which VIP next? RBK CEO – someone to invite her to next or later RCK? Leader of the Council? Mayor to 1st anniversary?

- Keeping in touch and coordinating volunteers, visitors, special requests/repairs... WhatsApp group? Booking - is it worth it? Incentives to volunteers? MM would contact volunteers later this month, unless someone else does, as our October RCK is quite late on 7th.

- Stuff – MM had bought a couple of small storage boxes for Reception and Refreshments and donated fresh batteries for the PAT. DHD has lots more batteries so no need to buy more for now.
RCK finances update postponed.10%/£100 should be transferred to TTK general fund.

- GSRC Network meeting, 31 Aug - notes already circulated and filed at https://www.ttkingston.org/ttk-repair-cafe-project/notes-from-rc-visits-and-meeti/

+ HG's Notes:

1) Invite Sarah Ireland - Action: Hilary

2) We can continue to use the Zettle Damon borrowed - Maya will bring it and has a square something as a backup (is that PayPal?). Action: Maya
3) We have received some payments with bookings. Couldn't identify any reason for this trend. Damon has forwarded PayPals to to Paul for tracking Action: Paul

4) Send reminder email / WhatsApp to repairer volunteers: Action: Hilary

5) Send summary of repairs requested to repairer vols on WhatsApp Action: Maya 

(Maya, you said you could do that tomorrow / next day so I can pick that up and pop in the reminder email mentioned above in 4))

6) Organiser volunteers - Marilyn, Maya, Damon, Hilary (light duties). Paul can you be there? Action: Paul

7) Do we need more electrical volunteers? Maya said it's the bulk of the requests. Agreed to see how many intend to be there and then a) chase for more from our existing repairers b) ask them if they know anyone else c) put on Instagram (and other socials?) Action:  Hilary & Maya

8) PAT needs new batteries, although Marilyn has replaced and will bring. Should be rechargeable batteries - Damon has some. Action: Marilyn & Damon

9) Additional: are we all getting repair@ttkingston.org emails now? Action: All


Monday 28 August, 6.30pm, Zoom meeting Notes

Present: MM, PMc

- Monthly briefing to include reminder to “get a second opinion, help from another volunteer” - maybe also ask fixers to help with hosting, welcoming, collecting forms and donations etc when not otherwise occupied. The organising team will be a bit short-handed next time, so help might be v welcome.

- RCK WhatsApp group, HG the only admin so can’t add members for now, so MM using WhatsApp for chat and updates, but also using HG’s database when necessary to contact all volunteers. Not many signed up so far for 2nd Sept, but it usually works out OK.

- GSRN on-line chat coming up - MM would participate unless anyone else wanted to (but only one person per RC allowed). Time: Th Aug 31, 2023 06:00 PM London; Zoom Meeting https://uca.zoom.us/j/3753094149 9 (PS/reminder for those  who didn't make it video recording of the RC European webinar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlZYu3lXi9o)

- A4 poster (for outreach, budgeted for in our Resilience Fund application)-  we thought we should get an A5 flier printed as well, as there seems to be some demand from visitors/enquirers for something to take way at RCK sessions. (Advice from other community groups is that fliers, ideally with personal contact, work best). Faye has amended the earlier A4 poster to take into account our revisions, and MM would price print runs for 100 of each.

- Other publicity - journalism student Philip had filmed RCK at work, and interviewed a volunteer on the day and MM afterwards in Canbury Community Garden. He will share his video in due course. Berrylands magazine was suggested to MM last week and has been contacted, and PMc suggested Surbiton’s Good Life magazine which MM would check out.
Green Libraries Week, 1st week in Oct, MM is working on an extra clothing upcycling event in K Library, evening of 5/10 - hoping to get a few definite helpers, and would ask RCK stitchers.

- PAT training - we budgeted for this in our Resilience Fund application - can we buy and share an on-line session (decision/selection postponed till DHD could inform and assist)? The new PAT cost 342.88 and there is still just over £1000 in the RCK pot (donations, remains of John Lewis funding, RBK’s Resilience Fund). https://opencollective.com/transition-town-kingston/projects/repair-cafe-kingston

- Sewing machine - Pandora has got it going again, so problem solved. Stitchers requested a few more cottons, have been purchased.

Donations and expenses payments - it’s not simple to pay RCK Zettle donations directly into RCK Open Collective (OC) account, but PMc didn’t mind making sure that that’s where anything donated (Zettle and cash) on RCK mornings was recorded. We agreed that expenses for equipment should be claimed via OC for recording purposes, but that small expenses, e g refreshments, a gratuity to Maya, could be paid out of cash taken on the day, with the remaining balance paid to TTK and recorded in the TCK OC account.

Reusable coffee cups - PMc and MM thought it time to buy stackable, unbreakable washable cups as the greener choice and one that would eventually pay for itself (using paper cups on;y as back-up if numbers demanded). MM had seen some nice ones on Amazon, £20 for 8, though nothing in Kingston, and would continue looking.


NOTES, Monday 31st July (24th July no shows, so meeting moved)

- Present: DHD, MM, PMc

- Notes from workshops, conferences, on-line meetings, visits - new page at https://www.ttkingston.org/ttk-repair-cafe-project/notes-from-rc-visits-and-meeti/ - please add as and when you learn something useful

- Repair Forms - HG has handed on to MM forms for repairs and for new volunteers, and MM can print as needed. Briefing to include reminder to complete and hand in forms.

- Volunteers - MM has asked new volunteers to turn up at 10.00 for a mini-briefing and we should try to ensure pairing up, 12 coming so far. MM would be trying to recruit more volunteers to help with “hosting” - refreshments, washing up (so we could eventually move to reusable cups).

- Visitors with repairs - MF to be asked to update us and the WhatsApp group on what was coming next week.

- repair@ttk email: PMc managed to email MM using repair@... Address - hurrah!

- PAT – we will have 2 at next RCK: David Kempton’s which HG had fetched and passed on to MM + our new one purchased by DHD - we needed to sort out at least minimal training and a way of returning David’s to him. MM would find Seaward website info and inform volunteers in the WhatsApp group.
Some notes about PATs from the HSE at https://www.hse.gov.uk/electricity/faq-portable-appliance-testing.htm mentioned in GSRC networks discussions.

- Publicity - MM has added RCK to Restart, KVA, Freegle websites as well as the usual social media and events websites. Still to discuss, HG’s suggestion that we make a RCK Fb page? Can we keep a list of unusual repairs or striking data for publicity purposes?
Survey how do people (volunteers and clients) find us - MM had created a simple media survey.
A4 Poster - HG and MM had suggested some amendments and MM would discuss with Faye and then get 100 printed and distributed.

- Student journalist (Philip) to visit/interview us, probably in September. Should be reminded to ask permission and asked to bring permission forms/waivers.

- VIP visits - Ed Davey in October, invited by HG; other suggestions - Zac Goldsmith, Cllr Kirsch, the new RBK CEO, David Attenborough(!) + Mayor for 1st birthday in Feb? Invite them to bring items for repair (and photo opp!)

- Sewing machine not working - MM to discuss with Pandora, maybe take it to another RC, get another from STWC...

- Data - others use repairmonitor.org; repairconnects.org; restarters.net - some get CO2 saved, tonnes saved from landfill etc? Where does our data go? Restart? We do get good useful data and it was not considered worth keying in data to more than one website.

- September RCK - DHD gave advance warning of absence, and HK would be absent too.

- Next Zoom meeting 28/8


Mon 26 June, 6.30 - 7.00pm, NOTES

Hilary (HG), Marilyn (MM), Damon (DHD), Maya (MF); apologies from Paul (PM)
- Numbers and prep for next Sat - in good hands, so far seemed to be smallish numbers of both volunteers and visitors, but we could cope, and over the summer, when numbers could be even smaller, we agreed that turning up consistently was more important that having a full house. HG would chase a bit, incl David Kempton bringing along the PAT. DHD would discuss with him what to buy once the funding is in. 
- Where does our data go? Restart? Internation RC network? Both? Not sure, and we haven’t seen any graphs since the 1st 3 months. MM would ask again at GSRCN meeting on 3rd what counted as a repair + ask what other RCs did over summer holidays.
- Our First-aider is MF. Useful info from BHF - https://www.bhf.org.uk/how-you-can-help/how-to-save-a-life/how-to-do-cpr and app RevivR
- Networking and learning from other RCs - DHD would go to European online conference on 7th July, late afternoon https://cfsd.org.uk/events/european-repair-cafe-conference, MM would attend GSRC on-line network meeting at 6 – 7pm on 3/7. 
- Publicity: HG would invite Ed Davey maybe for September or whenever he could manage; DHD would be meeting Council’s new CEO in October and would invite her. Leader of the Council sometime...
MM would get a final printed A4 poster (for neighbourhood notice boards and other community spaces) once the Council award was in the bank - was talking to Faye about final wording and would share before going to print.
MF offered to extend her Instagram publicity to other TTK activities, which would be v welcome.
- Circular economy/furniture waste seminar on Th 22nd interesting in parts, MM had shared her takeaways already, and had tidied up and revised her PP presentation selectively to add some of her talk to her pictures.
- Funds, RCK in Open Communities Qs for PM (maybe at next CG meeting as some of these are issues for other projects too): are our funds up-to-date, is our latest award there yet? Are takings at RCK sessions and other donations getting from the TTK bank account to the Open Collective account, as they don’t all seem to be visible there? (HG has some cash to pay in, MM had been repaid for May purchase and this month’s expenses would be quite small, just for some refreshments.)


Monday 22 May, 6.30 - 7.00pm, Zoom - NOTES

Present: just Damon & Marilyn

-          DHD thought that the funding application & safeguarding policy were as good as they could be and MM (after adding the need for a replacement extension lead) would send off the form asap, and publish the policy doc (which can be reviewed and updated as needed) on TTK website. Not sure that we need a detailed breakdown or forecast of costs tho’ we will have to account for spending later.

-          Invitations to join monthly GSRCN Zoom meetings now go to repair@ttkingston.org - one person per group allowed - DHD and MM find the meetings helpful, might be a good idea to take it in turns to share the insights? Did everyone get feedback from latest meeting? Neither DHD or MM can go to the conference in June.

-          Can we do better at matching up volunteers and visitors? Does it matter? HG and MF were doing a good job anyway, and presumably we’d hear soon about numbers for the next session.

-          Outreach - how do people (volunteers and visitors) hear about us? If we use posters and fliers aimed at off-line people we could invite them to come along on 1st Saturdays or use the RCK QR code (most people have smart phones) to find out more. Other ways to reach needy residents - Social Services/other charities? Growbaby https://www.growbabykingston.co.uk/) charity in Kingston had found us via Terezie and would be getting some help with small fixes for buggies and cots. MM would mention offering help at their store-room in the RCK WhatsApp group and at the next RCK, but wouldn’t want to lose any good volunteers!

-          PAT and Zettle - with any luck we would have funding by September and could buy both, but in any case we would need the Zettle as its lender needed it too. Recommended PATs: Martindale and Seaward brands, recommended by GSRC network, model recommended by David Kempton of RCK is https://www.tester.co.uk/seaward-primetest-50-pat-tester; Also recommended is Twickenham’s  Batpat which is slightly cheaper is rechargeable with a charger rather then 6AAs. Is just as simple as the Primetest 50. PATs will need annual recalibration which will cost £50-£100 a year + training for users.

-          Publicity - MM has done her usual rounds of Nub, Facebook, NextDoor etc, but DHD suggested that any big publicity drive (e g posters, fliers) be postponed until September and the end of the holiday season. In the meantime we could invite local VIPs now it’s going smoothly, maybe one every month or two - Sarah Olney MP has an open invitation, but has been asked to book if she wants a repair. 


Monday 24 April, 6.30, Zoom, Notes
All 5 RCK organisers present,
for which many thanks.

-          Numbers on 6/5 - 3 of us would be there (DHD, MM & MF + Peter, we’ll manage!), volunteers and visitors still t b finalised - HG & MF were on the case.

-          Publicity - Nextdoor 717 views by 7/4 + Nub, Facebook 134 by 9/4, Twitter 33 views by 9/4 + 100s on Instagram. MM would add reminders to Fb, Twitter, Nextdoor... Data and nice examples, photos, comments for publicity & Restart (Leonard d’Crus, RBK) & funding applications will be filed in folder on GoogleDrive - https://drive.google.com/drive/u/0/folders/1_UW6Q0u5-uN-rKaWdHeoBG8xnmrikKhk

-          Expenses - MM had spent £23.79 on supplies for sewing group + we need more name badge holders which MM would buy (Rymans £5 for 5! Or bulk buy 50 - recycled/recyclable if poss.) HG had outstanding expenses from last time which she would claim via Open Collective, with link and instructions from PMc)

-          Other expenses for next funding application - PAT (MM would check recommendations and costs from other RCs) and Zettle (c £50) - if there was no urgency DHD could discuss choice with other electrical experts at the next RC (and MM could ask in the WhatsApp group)

-          Funding - MM would discuss with Kevin Taylor at RBK applying for the new Community Resilience Fund and find out how quickly we needed to put an application together (including required docs such as safeguarding policy, which she was compiling). PMc has put latest insurance policy into the RCK folder on GoogleDrive (useful for all project groups - insurance cover perhaps for discussion at a future CG meeting). This application ought to succeed because we are helping residents to become more resilent, and a grant would also increase the resilience of this project and of TTK as we could then save TTK reserves for contingencies such as emergencies, insurance, new projects...

-          Greater Surrey Repair Café Network
MM could attend next Zoom meeting on 3/5, but DHD volunteered and it would be useful to to share this task and the knowledge and experience of other groups, so MM would send him details.
All can join GSRC Network WhatsApp group via https://chat.whatsapp.com/EitNVdsIcRG9L4XNtER9vH - with name + repair cafe name or abbreviation.
Repair Café Conference, 9th June 2023, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham - please register if interested to attend https://cfsd.org.uk/events/repair-cafe-conference-2023/ (MM can’t go, will be away in Nottinghamshire, DHD would have a look at the programme to see if it was worth the journey).




R C Surrey network on-line meeting #2, 3/4/23
Present: reps from 10 repair cafés, including me for RCK, at various stages of development and experience, MM, 3/4/23.

Takeways for us:
- We should prioritise purchase of a PAT (see below).
- In view of the capital and ongoing expenses of a PAT, and other stuff, we should continue to be careful with money. We should record net donations (after expenses) after every RCK to see how we are doing.
- These and other similar network meetings are useful for sharng problems and good practice (we are surprisingly typical considering that we have been working things out as we go and more or less independently) so IMO we should continue to participate, and record and share notes from meetings with each other, as we can’t know when some of the less relevant topics for us might become relevant.
- Not from the meeting, but a personal request - we should share regularly and as promptly as possible with our volunteers the data we collect from our RCKs and any interesting fixes and photos + comments from satisfied customers - all good for morale and publicity. (I sometimes see the items being brought in but rarely see the result!)

PATs and PAT training
PATs were considered essential, and every RC present had at least one (two were considered useful to avoid log-jams as electrical repairs are often v busy) - for testing volunteers’ and RC equipment (to protect volunteers and the venue’s power circuit), visitors’ items on arrival (to protect volunteers and the venue’s power circuit), and then items once repaired (to protect the client and to ensure and record that the item was safe when it left the RC).

Recommended brands were Martindale and Seaward, but the advice was to defer to your most expert electrical fixer.

On-line training was considered adequate, and there were lots of other expenses and essentials: stickers, a log/forms to record every test; regular retraining; and annual recalibrating of the PAT.

Insurance and risk assessments
Some new RCs had had problems getting insurance - Zurich seemed particularly stringent in its requirements, e g for qualified repairers - and I think we were lucky to have a pre-existing policy that could be upgraded. But generally insurance companies and brokers are becoming more used to the RC concept and more receptive - E & G were recommended - https://eginsurance.co.uk/repair-cafe-insurance/ - should we ever need to look elsewhere. Repair Café Wales’ risk assessment was recommended - https://repaircafewales.org/risk-assessment-form/. Should we complete/revise our risk assessment?

RCs had generally had few problems in getting funds, particularly from smaller councils that had funds for green and sustainable initiatives and were seeking suitable projects/recipients. (This may not be the case in Kingston where there is more history of doing green things, there are plenty of other green initiatives to mop up spare funds, and some of this kind of funding must have gone towards employing the new Climate Action officers.)

Some do, some don’t - most, like us, have both bookings and walk-ins, and though that can mean volunteers don’t know what to expect or prepare for, they sometimes enjoy the unexpected items. 

Organising volunteers
Most seemed to find this hard, one had appointed a lead volunteer in each group to look after their stuff (some RCs have no storage or are mobile) - maybe this would work for rotas as well? 

Spares & stuff
Like us, other RCs provide only basic consumables such as glues etc, and expect clients to bring or find and return with spare parts; Amazon and E-Bay were recommended for finding obscure spares.

Volunteers bringing their own kit and tools is the norm.

RCs don’t accept items for spares, or pass on repaired items, e g to charity shops.

Repair rates: 63% seems to be the average rate of repairs, but there is no official definition of what constitutes a repair!

Items some refuse to repair, or are cautious about repairing, include:
-          Mobile phones (plenty of other places to get repairs)
-          Antiques (too easy to damage)
-          Petrol--driven items
-          Nespresso coffee machines aren’t made to be taken apart or repaired (did we fix one last week?)
-          Outdoor heaters as unethical, unsustainable

Further discussions: monthly on-line chats likely to continue, also a request for a WhatsApp group for this network - seems to me t b useful as the rest of you could probably join in too.

Surrey RC gathering in Guildford on 16/4 - please let mcharter[@]uca.ac.uk know if you can attend the IRL get together of repair cafe trustees/volunteers on Sunday 16th April, 1.30 - 3.30 at Zero Carbon, Guildford - he needs advance notice of numbers. (I can’t go - community gardening on Sundays, with Good Gym coming that Sunday and no one to swap with.)


Mon 27 March, 6.30pm, Zoom RCK project group meeting

Present: MM and HG (MM would delete previous Zoom monthly meeting links and start afresh so that all had the same links for next meeting!) 

Topics discussed (+ a few raised at TTK CG meeting on 28th):

-          Making sure that there 2 volunteer fixer on every table (i e, 2 on the sewing table, 4 on electricals and electronics, and 4 on miscellaneous and triage) to help, support, advise, protect etc each other - but how? HG would once again brief on 1 April that we would like the groups to organise themselves and their own rotas, and would provide a form to start them off on this. MF could usefully continue to share bookings in the WhatsApp group, and also update bookers on who/what will be available (NB Kirstin won’t be there on Saturday - MM will let Lorraine know but are there others who should be informed?).

-          MM hoped that the electrical experts will brief everyone on how to use the circuit breakers. (what happened last time?)

-          PAT - we have the funds (on loan from TTK) so please can DHD and the experts decide what to buy and how to get everyone using the PAT trained.

-          Funding - any other sources or ideas?

-          Tightening up money collection - MF and MM should hover by the door as much as possible and be more proactive about getting donations! Unless Paul objects, we could continue to take small expenses (refreshments, a tip for MF) out of petty cash collected on the day, providing receipts for Paul, with MF/Paul ensuring that the rest goes into the RC Open Collective fund (via the TTK bank account?).

-          Data - HG would like stats from Paul about fixes (how many were done, how our stats compare with other RCs) to share with the volunteers in the WhatsApp group and at our next RCK. MM would ask about this too at upcoming Surrey RC network on-line meeting

-          Next RC Surrey on-line meeting (3rd April) MM would attend, ask any questions you have and report back. (The organiser is also asking for numbers for the IRL meeting in Guildford,  1.30 - 3.30 on 16th April. And is planning a 2nd UK repair cafe conference - to be held in May in Farnham, Surrey ... more details to come.)

-        There had been more good publicity in Surrey Comet on 16/3 - https://www.surreycomet.co.uk/news/23389152.looking-ahead-greener-future/


Surrey RC network on-line meeting, Friday 3rd March (MM)

Interesting meeting, with 9 RCs represented, all very different in size and practice - and ours wasn’t even the newest! To cover some of the themes of interest to us (which t b fair was most of the meeting):

- Legal entities ranged from: some like us, operating under the umbrella of another group - a church, a Rotary Club, an unincorporated local green group - and glad to have the benefits of a pre-existing bank account and insurance policy; to another operating very informally as an independent group and covering their costs with donations; to another that was a charity with trustees etc (having had problems with their original Transition group umbrella, mainly, it seemed, over money and keeping accounts of allocated funds). I don't think any were CICs.

- Matching volunteers with visitors: several had systems not unlike what we are working towards, asking volunteers about 10 days in advance who will be there and then publishing the fixes on offer on their website. All thought some kind of matching offers with needs was needed. Pretty well all of them found textile and electrical repairs were the most in demand, and had had experience of grumpy visitors who hadn't read or taken on board the TC rules and expectation.

- Funding - many had found their councils very supportive as most councils had declared climate emergencies and wanted to keep waste down, and RCs were seen as useful to these Councils. Just ask, was the general gist!  Zero Carbon Guildford was applying for big money, partly for involving youth - schools, scouts, D of E… - I suspect we may be a bit far from Guildford to benefit from their bounty, and doubt that we have the capacity to cope with under-18s.

- Publicity - most were limited by space from growing too much or coping with huge numbers and so turned publicity efforts on and off depending on how things were going, but none had experienced a serious drop-off in interest once the novelty wore off.  (I had a phone interview with someone from BBC Radio Surrey today, as had some of the others - don't know how they found me unless it was via this Network.) Most had had visits from Mayors, MPs, local dignitaries, all good for photo opps and publicity.

- Etc - some volunteer fixers took things home to finish repairs; others were more like us wanting visitors to stay with their items and learn something by watching and having a go. One was hoping that a nascent Library of Things in her town would provide useful equipment to borrow.


Monday February 27, 6.30, Zoom https://us04web.zoom.us/j/74822736107?pwd=5SG0CE62pWI8eiKKzz0uLbfUvKy82z.1

Present: All 5 of us!


-      Mondays seem OK for our monthly meetings, for now at least.  

-          H&S fire/smoke alarm test would be on 28th, and first aid training on 26/4 for Maya (KVA wanted just one from each organisation). DHD or an expert would brief all on 4th on how and where to use the circuit breakers.

-          Publicity - nothing extra this month, but MM had recycled previous Facebook and NextDoor publicity and post-Repair Café media reports would have helped. Sarah Olney MP had mentioned RCK in her newsletter - MM had thanked her and invited her to drop in sometime (good publicity if it happens). We can up our efforts if/when requests for repairs tail off. 

-          Bookings: Maya shared next month’s bookings, and we agreed that because there are 2 tables of electrical/electronic, with 3 or 4 volunteers, they could cope with 2 clients at a time, as could the 2 Other repairs/Triage tables.*

-          How to match up repairers with clients? HG has shared which volunteer would be there on 4th at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qCPOR614cgjSrdsz1nHJohpOxZ65MoLvKuKWEGFS4Zc/edit#gid=221558597  It would be useful to get more advance notice from Other Repairs volunteers so that Maya could book in repairs to suit their offers e g jewelry, sewing machines, wooden objects...  (Paul can’t be at next RCK.)

-          PAT update - we can borrow one for now, but our own with relevant training would be good to have. Similarly with card reader.

-          VIPs and K Uni invitations - HG could repeat invitation to Ed Davey MP? MM had flagged up RCK to KU head of sustainable design course in case it was of interest to his students

-          Expenses  - MM has spent another £69 approx on asks from volunteers, concentrating on consumables, e g assorted glues,  and items volunteers can’t provide, e g table-cloth clips. We need to have some kind of procedure for volunteers’ expenses, e g parking? Donations last time had covered refreshments + a bit and we should aim for this regularly.

-          Funding sources to consider later - and in the meantime request transfer of some TTK reserves to RCK?

-          The National Lottery’s Funding Programmes - The National Lottery also recommend these other climate action fundersAction FunderAviva’s Community FundClean Mobility FundClimate Fringe Festival Grant



-          MM has put laminated House Rules in every table’s box for display leaving spare paper ones in Reception box - for clipboards, display.

-          Note paper (plenty for now) in every box, along with biros (though they will need more), MM has bought more name-badge-holders but more welcome as they will get lost (All to bring). HG had offered to print out more registrations form for visitors and volunteers to fill in.

-      Maya had suggested clipboards for people in the queue to fill in forms, and would look for some; MM suggested that House Rules be sellotaped to them.

-      Refreshments - MM had bought more biscuits, would bring milk and take orders for lunch; suggested cup cakes or other cakes that didn’t need slicing, if anyone was baking.


* Tables

-              #1 Reception and Refreshments, either side of the door

-              #2 Textiles and Clothes (with their own power point) with 2 or 3 volunteers

-              # 3 and # 4 Electricals and Electronics (Library extension lead, multi, goes to these tables) with 3 or 4 volunteers

-              # 5 and #6 Other Repairs / Triage (RCK extra extension lead, single, from Library extension to these tables) each with 2 versatile/specialist volunteers – a spare tech volunteer could join them


Post- first RCK meetup, IRL @ Druid’s Head, 6 Feb, 6.30 - 8.00pm
all 5 of the RC project group!

-          A big thank you and congratulations all round for a successful, if exhausting, first RC! Feedback and buzz all v positive, and some great photos, all with permission to use (HG’s on Facebook, MF’s on Instagram).

-          Visitors - there had been a bit of a peak and queue early, many of whom hadn’t read the guidance or House Rules, didn’t want to stay with their items or wait... There would always be a few like this and we would have to deal with them - MF would put one A-board just outside the room with A3 House Rules (which are pretty clear) for the queuers to read - and then plenty of registration forms (HG to print) with a few clip-boards (MF to provide) for visitors to fill in forms while they wait. And All need to help with ushering and answering visitors’ questions so that MF can stay near the door. MM had updated the Visitors’ page on the website (see https://www.ttkingston.org/repair-cafe-kingston/repair-cafe-guidance-for-vis/ and get back to MM if you have amendments) to be more specific about what repairs we offer, and clearer that some things may not be repairable by us. Visitor forms: 25 forms had been filled out, 7 repairs done, 7 part-repairs or advice given, 2 unsure and several incomplete (non-repairs, didn’t wait, just came to have a look?)

-          Thank yous: HG had thanked the volunteers and MM had thanked Faye and librarians for their help (incl hot water on tap!) MM would also ensure that thanks wen to the Library, TTK, STWC, JL in write-ups for website, K E News, Chris Rimington at the Council...

-          Volunteers will need briefing every time - with reminders to those who’d been before + info for newbies about taking breaks, sharing equipment, moving to help other tables as and when, organising their own rotas... MM asked that all the organisers be there at 10.00am so that they could participate in the briefing and take over occasionally.

-          Publicity - MM had asked Chris Rimington to help reach social housing residents; could all libraries help? Could posters go in all the community notice boards? We could put the A-board outside the Library on Saturday mornings if/when things get quiet.

-          Regular RCK organisers’ meetings would now be once a month on-line, on 4th Thursday evening of the month MM would continue to host via Zoom (new link is https://us04web.zoom.us/j/9888791604?pwd=d0dqZVFrZ1dWQXVSWkhGNXpJSnlVZz09 - will be the same every time!) with DHD stepping in as and when. And All would catch up, feed back immediately after each Saturday session.

-          H & S matters: HG would be our Fire Officer and would arrange a fire alarm test of small blow-torch and soldering with Kirsten, DHD and Faye; First Aid - several of our volunteers had training and DHD, HG & MF were all interested in doing a first aid course, t b arranged with KVA by HG(?) (from the newsletter: “For advice or support for your community group, please complete this form, outlining your support needs and KVA will get back to you as soon as we can to set up a free 45 minute appointment with a relevant member of staff. Keep updated on KVA's training opps by getting onto their mailing list.)

Stuff & Expenses

-          Shopping and tidying - MM will purchase stuff requested by volunteers and will pop into the Library to make sure old and new stuff is in the right boxes.

-          PAT: Parker Bell (like STWC’s) with online training - https://parker-bell.co.uk/shop/charity-shop-kit/ - would cost £295; a Fluke PAT, as recommended by our electrical expert Dave would cost £615 - though he thought a Parker Bell would do. DH-D to discuss PAT purchase and PAT training with expert volunteers. For now we would borrow and return STWC’s PAT, checking availability in advance (DH-D to do this). If/when we get our own, DHD would take care of it (too valuable to leave in Library), and we could consider lending it out to competent trained volunteers.

-          Funding: We still have around £150 in the RC fund. TTK reserves are around £1000, which has to cover annual insurance etc, so, if we can, we should apply elsewhere before asking CG if we can dip into TTK reserves. Suggested sources of funding - Co-op (MF to find out more)? Councillor ward funding? Other? ?? Someone to apply?

-          Donations on the day: £22.59 via Zettle, £5 in advance, £27 in cash - total almost £55, which indicated that they could cover refreshments (£30 spent so far on supplies that will last a few more sessions with small top-ups + £20 for lunch snacks) - leaving a small profit, though not enough to fund a PAT!
MF could pay cash donations by bank transfer directly into the RCK fund via Open Collective (https://opencollective.com/transition-town-kingston/projects/repair-cafe , or to TTK), PMc to advise if necessary.
To discuss/confirm soon - can we pay expenses e g volunteers, refreshment top-ups, out of cash takings on the day? Should we keep some back for petty cash?

-          Refreshments - milk will need topping up next time (I owe 3 oat and 1 cow’s milk) + cakes (MF suggested a source and HG had checked the rules for charities etc and we could make our own without having to have certificates etc). We (MM) should also provide bags for rubbish and for recyclables.

-          Other bits and pieces to buy, requested by volunteers - MM was keeping a list including: clips to stop table cloths slipping; metal filler, epoxy resin,; sewing machine bobbins, (11.5mm Toyota), name badge holders, fuses etc etc...

-          or bring: name badge holders lots (MF),; cheap biros, lots (MF), sticky tape (MF),

extension lead (MM)

-          No need for protective safety cover or tape for trailing cables as PMc had found a way to use them safely, and we could continue to borrow the Library’s big extension lead.

-          Other expenses to discuss further: volunteer expenses, e g parking, tools/servicing, consumables - did we resolve this request on the day? When we have spare cash, possible contribution to improving Library power supply (at least one spur from main Libaray at the far end of the room?), manager/host’s fee?

So, to summarise who’s doing what before next RCK:

-          HG & DHD to continue communications with volunteers and updating volunteers’ spread-sheet at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qCPOR614cgjSrdsz1nHJohpOxZ65MoLvKuKWEGFS4Zc/edit#gid=1072711069

-          HG to organise a fire alarm check at Library, and a First Aid couse

-          MM to carry on shopping and organising storage boxes, and to write up the event for website, Chris Rimington etc

-          DHD to discuss PAT purchase and PAT training with other Electrics and Elecronics volunteers (especially expert Dave) and to fetch and carry borrowed PAT to and from STWC.

-          MF to bring stuff - clip-boards, biros etc


Meeting #10, TH 2/2/23

No participants other than MM but some updates from MM + a few questions and requests

-          Insurance, thanks to HG for clarifying and PMc for implementing . Should RC project contribute to TTK’s insurance costs?

-          Faye @ Library v postive and helpful, says lots of people are talking about RCK

-          Numbers? For forms, catering... DHD &HG’s spread-sheet of volunteers at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qCPOR614cgjSrdsz1nHJohpOxZ65MoLvKuKWEGFS4Zc/edit#gid=221558597 Visitor numbers - any idea?

-          Registration/feedback forms 20 printed + link on website (HG will print more) https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/documents/registration-form

-          Volunteers on the day - briefing - HG & MM working on it.

-          Bike repairs - any to add to https://www.ttkingston.org/ttk-groups-and-projects/kingston-repair-cafe/repair-shops/ ?

-          First Aid training opps via KVA - any takers?

-          VIPs - Ed Davey not coming, Courier journalist possibly

-          Arriving early on 4th - some of us intend to arrive at 9.30. Faye’s instructions: “The staff entrance is to the side of the building, so walk up to the end of the railings and head towards the entrance to the Kingfisher development next door.  On the left hand side you'll come quite quickly to a black door up a couple of steps.  To the right of the door is a bell, just press the bottom button and we'll come and let you in.  Sadly, no secret codes!  Staff should be on site from 9am.”

-          Meetings after 1st RC??


-          MM has acquired, delivered to Library and organised a lot of kit. List and accounts so far sent round earlier. Catering - probably enough for a couple of RCs, mostly biscuits because they’ll keep.

-          MM has offered our protective table covers to Library to share with other messy community groups using the space. Faye had them stored in her office.

-          Stationery - pls bring any plastic name label holders and note-paper that you can spare for the repair tables.


Meeting #9, Th 26 Jan

Participants: Marilyn, Maya, Paul


-          Booking system up and running, thanks to MF - MM has posted the booking link on TTK website pages and Facebook, MF will post to her 213(!) Instagram followers.

-          Kingston Repair Network - PM is now an editor, RBK’s Leonard is inviting other local repair events, parties, workshops etc to join. But -

-          Our repair data would go primarily to the Repair Café Repair Monitor, with PM i/c of inputting data; MM would print off the data collection/feedback forms, and MF could also collect data on a laptop or phone.

-          Publicity - repair@ttk... had been contacted by a local journalist wanting an interview, by phone if necessary. MM could oblige if the request came her way (MM and MF not getting repair@... emails, and not in their spam folders), but if someone else who got the email wants to, please go ahead. MM wouldn’t advise a press presence at our first one or two RC events, thought it better to wait till trial and error phase is over.

-         Expenses - volunteers could present receipts to PM or MF for payment by bank transfer.


-          MM had borrowed STWC’s PAT, but it would have to be returned soon after 4/2 as they currently only have one, so we would have to think about buying our own, with advice from our experts, and possibly training. STWC would welcome help with using their PAT(s) if any of our experts could spare the time.

-          Purchases - MM had been repaid RC expenses so far, so was now trying to finish off RCK shopping. One or two requests from volunteer fixers and a few useful suggestions from other RCs still to track down and buy (and not much time for deliveries!).

-          Numbers - any idea how many to cater for on 4/2? Might become clearer as the date gets closer, but we may have to be ready to nip out for more supplies or yo take leftovers home to freeze or to another hub, e g The Hive. Biscuits would be a useful staple, as would keep for another day.

-          Paper and pens for notes - a good suggestion from a volunteer, and MF could provide paper, MM had purchased some cheap biros

-          Name-badges - All please to look out and bring badge- holders for volunteers. MM had printed out cards, including easily spotted red ones for organisers.

-          Storage - MM would probably visit Library again to put newly purchases stuff into the right boxes, numbered like the tables, so that volunteers can find and use kit. We have plenty for Textiles table, others would be more reliant on volunteers bringing their own.

Next meetings:

-          Next Thursday evening, 2/2. meeting #10, same Zoom link as usual - the last before 1st RCK!

-          Also TTK CG meeting coming up on Tues 31st.

-          T b decided - when and how often will we meet after RCK starts? (MM not available on Thurs 9/2.)


 Meeting #8.5, Mon 23 Jan

Present: Paul, Damon, Marilyn

Decisions and actions:

-          Table 2 offer t b called Textiles/Clothing, Tables 3 & 4 offer t b called Electronics and Electricals;

Tables 5 & 6 offer Other Repairs (in booking form, + Triage on the table label. Table labels to be big and readable. MM would confirm with MF - and booking form would then be ready to go?

-          First aid - we have a first aid box (in Reception storage box #1) - as does the Library.

-          MM and PM were clarifying with Leornard D’Cruz of RBK our relationship with the Kingston Repair Network registered with Restart. PM would continue the conversation, and would be responsible for logging data about repairs carried out, probably collected on the day from visitors.

-          HG to try to get confirmation from volunteers who will be present on 4th, and to pass on to MM any requests from volunteers for kit we should provide - or DH-D if HG couldn’t. STWC will lend their PAT ad hoc, till they find their 2nd one, so we could try it out and decide to buy it or another, preferably second-hand, with advice from our volunteer expert(s) – MM would arrange collection.

-          Expenses - We agreed that small expenses e g from volunteers or refreshment provider (MM) could be paid out of cash taken on the day on production of a receipt (if there were sufficient donations!). PM would also be trained to use Zettle card pyment system (which could work both ways, in and out??)

-          MM would make sure Feb 4th and ensuing RCKs were on TTK events pages (website and Facebook)

-          Next meeting Thursday 26th, 6.30 as usual, an opp for Maya and Paul to meet each other if nothing else!


Meeting #8, Th 19 Jan 2023 


There had been a meeting #7 on 12/1 but no notes, followed by a very useful “site visit” on Monday 16th when we planned where tables would be and MF and HG were trained in taking on-line donation. Meeting #8 clarified which groups would be occupying which tables (with storage boxes numbered to match) pro tem asit could evolve depending on numbers of volunteers and demand for fixes.As requested, MM has uploaded the UK-specific guidance to https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/other/rc-guidance-uk-supplement, a useful read because more local but not constraining - we can only do what we can do [and RC international is unlikely to be policing our practices]!


Pro tem room arrangement agreed:
#1- Reception small table by the door with refreshments the other side of the door (and the sofa for waiting)
#2 - Textiles (where we can use one of the power points directly and ensure that the extension lead is protected)
#3 & #4 - Laptops / small appliances (so that they are near a power source too)
#5 & # 6 “Can we help?” - other repairs/triage

MM to print out table labels and House Rules for every table, + volunteer name labels with some extra feature/colour for organisers’ labels, and All to find and bring plastic badge holders [maybe to the next CG meeting and then MM could ensure they are in the Reception storage box on the day?]

HG was communicating with volunteers and tracking how many would be there on Sat 4th.


Booking forms - MF had almost completed these for online + paper copies on the day), would send round draft for comment and then send link to MM to put on the Visitors’ page on the TTK website. No bookings on 1st day before 11.00am to give us an hour with volunteers for briefing, H&S reminders, groups to meet each other, + we would cope ad hoc with clients who just turn up,


Cash donation tins and notices x 2 each side of the door (MM to organise tins + refreshments and purchase/provide teas, coffee, milks, biscuits, chocs, panettone, cake, vegan sausage rolls for volunteers at lunchtime... paper cups, paper towel...) Suggested donations: £2 for drink, £2 for food with card reader set to a suggested £5 [I think - the discussion went to and fro between £5 and £10 and I didn’t note down the final decision!] - but depending on ability to pay with less or more welcomed.

Cash takings would be counted up at the end of the day by 2 people, MM would take out refreshment expenses, remainder would be taken home by ??? and transferre into TTK for Repair Café account.

PM would soon be setting up an Open Collective project group section - we have spent approx £100 out of the JL seed-funding of £500 (and TTK has reserves we could dip into with agreement from CG if necessary).

MM wondered if Kingston Charitable Foundation - https://kingstoncf.org.uk/ - might be worth applying to as RCK probably ticked a couple of their boxes - we could work more collectively on future applications (less urgent, clearer on needs).


To buy (MM): another storage box (for general reception stuff and refreshments; heat-proof table cloth(s) and/or ironing mat; refreshments every month; A2 perspex protection for outdoor poster(?); cable cover(s) - can borrow tape so maybe later? We have one adaptor (MM’s on loan) and have bought one circuit-breaker, MM would buy one more.

Have volunteer fixers asked for anything? HG to update MM as and when.

PAT - MM to investigate borrowing STWC’s PAT to check it works well and meets volunteer Alan’s requirements - we could then offer to buy it, or buy a new one with Alan’s advice.


For consistency and recognition MM advised use of the mixed colour on white background RC logo where possible (uploaded to https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/images/rc-logo-1-large and https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/images/rc-logo-small-mix) + Kingston in dark blue (or Kingston upon Thames, our official name for international use!)

MF has set up an Instagram account and has 155 followers already! Photographer(s) can come along to any session but must get permission to photograph individuals.

We can use Faye's Library version of our current poster too - https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/other/a4-poster-lib-version - nicely designed in blue and orange (if a bit ink-heavy) - as a pdf can be printed out either A4 or A5.

First aid

We have a first aid box (in Reception storage box #1) - will common sense and long past training and Library first aider do? For future discussion.


Meeting #6, Th 5 Jan 2023

Participants: DHD, MM, HG, MF

Thank you for participating and helping to decide quite a few things, and apologies again for abrupt ending (but you did want short meetings and Zoom is taking care of that very firmly!). I’ve added a few updates we didn’t get round to FYI but this is mostly what we discussed.


Funds: Sadly, nothing from Veolia’s Sustainability Fund. Rejections could be partly because we applied for several £1000s to enable a contribution to a Kingston Library of Things, now not going to happen, so future applications could be for smaller sums. Any ideas where else to apply, and who would do it?

Insurance - HG is proceeding with checking and communicating with TTK insurers, and would also seek advice from Twickenham RC.

Risk assessment: DHD’s and MM’s checklist has been shared via Google Drive - All, please look and add to it if you can.

Volunteers - lots coming in and needing follow-up. HG offered to communicate with potential volunteers (listed on the shared Google Drive spreadsheet), with a process something like: invite potential to read https://www.ttkingston.org/ttk-groups-and-projects/kingston-repair-cafe/repair-cafe-volunteering/ if they haven’t already, and then read and sign the finalised Volunteers form (revisions confirmed at this meeting) - to return to repair@... or bring to first session. Occasional off-line volunteers should be invited to come along to a Saturday session to find out more. Some forms to be available at RC reception desk (MM would print a few).
WhatsApp for volunteers - who to set it up? DHD doesn’t like WhatsApp, though it would be a good way to communicate with volunteers, and perhaps also a way for groups of repairers to talk to each other to work out rotas, cover for absences etc. Maya provided link to https://www.whatsapp.com/download/ for those who needed it
MM suggested that the more versatile repairers could share a general/triage table, to repair the miscellaneous items that they are competent to fix, and direct more specialised ones to other tables- currently textiles/clothes and laptop advice /tuning...We ought to know soon who and which repairs will be available on 4th Feb.

Site visit. All agreed to meet at the Library at 10am on Monday 16th to plan layout, DHD to hand on donations on-line payment system to MF, etc.

Publicity: MM had added soft launch of RC Kingston to Surrey Comet and Nub websites and had updated the (very clunky) international RC website entry at https://www.repaircafe.org/en/cafe/kingston-upon-thames-repair-cafe/. Also added launch and recycled appeal for volunteers on FB and Nextdoor and Freegle. All - please share with your networks or compose your own announcments. RBK officers Chris and Leonard and Library will help. Also A4 poster to display where you can (sent round earlier, adapt if needed). RBK officers Chris and Leonard and Library will also help. Our A2 posters for the Library should arrive v soon.

Website: MM has made a new general landing page for RC with a more direct URL - https://www.ttkingston.org/repair-cafe-kingston/, linked to existing pages for news and volunteers, which can feature as a permanent tab on the Home page, + a new QR code that leads to it (attached if you want to use it anywhere). Previous QR codes and URLs would work too. MM has also added thanks to Library for space and John Lewis for seed-funding to most publicity, and had added DHD’s useful web-list of repair shops to the TTK RC web pages

Email address repair@ttkingston.org - MM definitely not getting these, which had prevented progress on registering volunteer opps with Volunteering Kingston, though HG had received relevant emails from VK.

Visitors - to book or not to book? MF had a good booking system worked out, suggested that we tried both - encouraging visitors to book a time and specify what item needed repairing, but also to turn up on spec if they preferred. We will need to publicise booking method v soon.

House Rules / notes for visitors about what to expect, bring... RC network House Rules (circulated earlier) may not be perfect but would do. MM would print out copies for reception desk and all the repair tables. Do we know What’s going to be available on 4th Feb?



- MM was researching heat-resistant mats, cost around £15 - 20, but delaying ordering till after her holiday. One RCD circuit breaker bought, cost £10; sewing machine repair cost £10.56. MM can lend an adaptor for now. Library happy to lend extension cable.
- Cable covers are quite expensive @ £10 p metre approx. We could use our site visit to assess length needed.
- Storage boxes: suggested contents: #1 Reception/general organising; #2 sewing; #3 electricals and electronics; #4 general repairs/triage. Do we need more?
- Still to discuss: refreshments - cake, biscuits, coffee, tea, milk. Who? What? (MM can donate a panetone)
- If STWC can provide a PAT in good working order, should we pay for it?


Next meeting - Thurs 12th - DHD would host on-line, MM would try to participate from France but couldn’t guarantee availability. Volunteer to take and circulate notes?



Meeting #5, Th 29 December

Participants: DHD, MM, HG


Insurance - HG now has the policy and she & DHD would scrutinise it for Ts & Cs, PL liability, exclusions that would need adjustments to cover our RC.
Risk assessment: DHD had found checklist that would do nicely and he & MM would have a go at filling it out (editable version which he would resend if MM couldn’t find it) with RC risks and circulate for others to point out errors and omissions.
Code of conduct: MM would edit and recirculate the doc circulated earlier, to fit our purposes and be the next thing volunteers read and agree once they have read the RC website pages. DHD had created a shared databse of potential volunteers we could use for this and other purposes.
DHD had found a useful web-list via Restart of repair shops in London which MM would add to the RC page she had started.
Publicity: DHD would send MM a HTML document about RC Kingston that search engines could find, which she would add to the RC section of the website. MM would add RC Kingston to the international RC website. MM would also make links to the BBC Wales news item on a RC.
Twickenham RC: HG would maintain contacts and seek further advice from them.
Email address repair@ttkingston.org - DHD would check with Paul that we can all get it. (HG and MM didn’t think they were)
To book or not to book? Maybe recommend booking so that we know what to expect?  But people could also just turn up and take a chance that their repair could be done. We should make clear every session what kinds of repair will be on offer. 


MM’s daughter’s partner can make A2 posters, which would be better than A3 and much better than A4, so she has sent him the folder of text and components and he will do it (he may need expenses covered). Maya has been informed.
A shared heat-roof mat that can be for ironing textiles and for electrical repairs would be the most economical purchase for now, we can buy another later if needed and if funds permit. MM would research and buy. 
Extension leads and adaptors: t b purchased as and when needed - but would need to take care not to overload she Library system. A RCD circuit breaker was consisered essential to protect the Library electrics as well as our volunteers, and good table lights would be useful too.
STWC would look out for a hooter.

Next meeting
would be in 2023! Thank you and happy new year to all the project group.


Meeting #4 Thurs 22 December, Participants: DHD, MM, HG, Maya

HG’s visit to Twickenham RC - v interesting, lots of useful info and practices (some we may already have from international RC network) and maybe a volunteer or 2 to share and learn from. Cakes, people on the door and hosts - Twickenham had lots of all! HG wondered if we really needed a rigid booking system and MM commented that a Library is not a bad place to have to wait in.
MM has been advertising for volunteers on Fb, Nextdoor [but still hasn’t managed KVA/Volunteering Kingston - a difficult website to use - but will try again]- she and DHD had had a few offers: Alans for electricals, Meltem for crafts, Gretta for sewing. DHD would set up a Google database so that we all have access to volunteers and their basic info as it emerges. Maya volunteered to set up an Instagram account for RC Kingston, MM would send her info and pics... A4 Volunteering ad at https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/documents/rc-volunteering-ad - display if you can.
Email address repair@ttkingston.org now works - but who gets it? DHD to check with Paul that we can all get it. (HG, Maya, MM didn’t think they were)

STWC has PATs we could borrow or have.
MM has bought 4 storage boxes from B&Q and moved 2 onto the Library community room shelves.
MM is struggling with making 2 A2 posters for Library, Maya can print A3, which would help, though gluing is a major issue (some alternatives were suggested). MM would send her the constituent parts to play around with/redesign for A2, and has also uploaded logos etc as below so that we can all use them for fliers etc:

MM requested All to save and share plastic badge holders, as MM can print out volunteers' name cards from RC template.
Twickenham RC has a hooter for getting attention for announcements - MM would ask STWC if they had one.

What next? And who to do it?
Rules for visitors - to include "no unaccompanied children or vulnerable adults"
Insurance policy still needs checking by HG & Paul to see if it is fit for this purpose
Volunteers - we need a process leading to Codes of conduct + Q’nnaire/agreement to send to volunteers after they have read https://www.ttkingston.org/ttk-groups-and-projects/kingston-repair-cafe/repair-cafe-volunteering/ : “I have read and agreed...” “ I feel competent to repair...”+ “I can bring to the RC...” “I need the RC to buy...” “I recommend... for repairs I can’t manage”, times available (not everyone can be there by 10am). And we need at least 2 volunteer fixers per table + spares so that everyone doesn’t have to come every time.
Publicity - decision was to focus on volunteers for now, and then to stick to social media and libraries for advertising our soft launch on 4/2/23 so that we are not overwhelmed. MM would send round draft bits and pieces for fliers later (maybe eventually for RBK Community NBs, Council CA/Waste reduction officer to circulate.)
WhatsApp group for all organisers and volunteers (like Twickenham RC)?

And please note earlier actions below if they are still not completed.


Meeting #3, Thurs 15 December, Participants: DHD, MM, HG


-          MM has put all these on the website for potential volunteers:

House rules https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/other/repair-cafe-house-rules

Repair Café Manual https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/other/repair-cafe-manual

Working Safely  https://www.ttkingston.org/assets/other/working-safely-

Would these do as they are? Please read and familiarise yourself with them.

-          Code of Conduct: DHD to find something suitable, to include or add “treating each other with respect” (and ultimately a way of getting rid of unsuitable volunteers if they broke the agreement) + questions about what equipment they could provide (most repairers prefer their own tools) and bring to each session, what we’d need to buy, provide and store, repair shops they’d recommend for repairs they can’t do (useful for the website anyway and MM has started a list at https://www.ttkingston.org/ttk-groups-and-projects/kingston-repair-cafe/repair-shops/ ), their availability...

-          Bike repairs - KCC were thinking about it, Dr Bike and Gary of Fullcycle also possibilities - no particular need for these to be at the Library or at the same time as REC, could be more relevant at the Bike Hub with us signposting to it. HG would continue the conversation along these lines.

-          DHD needed to talk to potential electrical appliance fixers.

-          H&S -volunteers should have read and signed something (part of Code of Conduct / Working safely doc?) But should be reminded every time and should share H&S guidance with clients who might also use tools etc

-          RISK ASSESSMENT AND INSURANCE POLICY - DHD to find relevant risk assessment tool, HG to discuss current insurance policy and any necessary upgrades with Paul. We confirmed that there was no need for CRB/DBS, though some volunteers would probably have this anyway.


Registration (incl disclaimer) form and rules for clients - saved at

Qs: Is this useful as it is? Does it need amending/additions? Should also be on display on the day. Had Maya found anything more useful?


-          MM confirmed that Repair Café logo formats varied a lot depending on document, size, editablity etc - and we agreed to use a range, as and where they fit, and get people used to seeing different but similar logos by using them on the website and in the newsletter.

-          MM would improvise A2 posters for use in the community room and outside (weather permitting) as the most economical solution for now.

-          We need repair@ttkingston.org email for ads etc but not yet resolved (Paul); (for his email for external comms DHD recommended dhd@exnet.com; for internal, i e, between ourselves (?) damon@caredall.com).


-          Storage - Faye @ Library not worried about children accessing the room andr playing with our stuff as they never entered the room. Doors would eventually help.

-          Funds - No idea yet if Veolia Sustainability Fund application has succeeded - the fund reopens in May for 2023 applications. Meanwhile we should be economical with our funds and, e g, not buy PAT equipment till definitely needed when volunteers emerged.

NEXT MEETING on Th 22 Dec, 6.30. same Zoom link

(MM would be away on Th 12 Jan, so would not be able to host RC meeting, but hoped to be able to join it. DHD would host instead - MM to remind nearer the time).


Documents uploaded, December 2023

Draft volunteer ad - https://www.ttkingston.org/ttk-repair-cafe-project/volunteer-ad/

Repair Cafe Library:

Meeting #2, Thurs 8 December, Participants: DHD, MM, HG

- Maya (MF) couldn't be present but updated on the booking site, recommending https://www.tickettailor.com/charity-ticket-sales/ as "definitely the way to go. They don't charge for free events or donations, plus they offer discounts to charitable orgs if we did ever need to sell tickets. We can manage the event with a phone app so should be super easy for bookings. They're also a b-corp and donate to climate causes. It does seem as though it pays into a linked paypal, not a bank account like I thought, but I guess if we have a zettle set up that shouldn't matter." Clients will need to book in advance to give volunteer fixers a good idea of what to expect (as well as to avoid queues).
- Recruiting volunteers: HG made some suggestions re the ad which MM will fix and for which we need a repair@ttkingston.org.uk email address, redirected to all 4 of us, with the onus on whoever responds to Bcc everyone else so that we'd know a response had happened. MM would ask Paul to create this email. (MM  had already had one sewing volunteer.) We decided that volunteers did not need DBS checks as the RC would be in a big room, children and vulnerable adults would be required to be in the care of a repsonsible adult, and no volunteer would never be alone with a client.
Code of conduct for volunteers not found yet, but should include that volunteers should work in pairs as much as possible to help each other, and also a request to bring their own tools etc on the understanding that TTK would pay for replacements, refills of, e g, solder, batteries ... and to tell us what we should buy and provide to fill gaps, e g, glues and screws...
Bike repairs - would need to be done outside, so seasonal, HG would raise with KCC.
- Poster(s) and fliers - MM would ask Faye at Library if she could use the limited components (RC logo, small amount of text, TTK logo to make an eye-catching design, adaptable for A2, A5, a banner...
- Insurance - could Paul please check our policy to see if RC was covered, and, if not, get it amended?
- Keeping Library staff informed - Faye was putting RC into the next staff info, so librarians would know who we were if we popped in. MM would send her the link to the public-facing page about the RC. 
- Shopping: MM had measured the Library shelves so that she could get the largest possible storage boxes that would fit - DHD recommended using upper shelves to make pilfering and playing with our stuff more difficult, and we should avoid leaving anything of value. There would eventually be doors on the community space which would add some security. MM had now acquired 2+ working sewing machines from STWC and had enough stuff left from SiT project for foreseeable needs, apart from a heat-proof pad to iron on.
- Risk assessment form still needed


Meeting #1, Thurs 1 December, Participants: DHD, MM, Maya (MF)

- Transition Together funding application failed, still awaiting Veolia decision
- We agreed not to be perfectionist but to use existing docs (from Repair Café or other repair cafes) wherever possible, maybe for amendment as we go along.

What we need:

  • Risk assessessment form
  • H&S for organisers and volunteers - (Repair Café doc will do, MM)
  • Code of conduct for volunteers (DHD)
  • TTK insurance to check and amend if necessary (HG?)
  • Booking system for visitors (MF)
  • Disclaimer form for visitors (Repair Café doc will do, MM)
  • Volunteers, not necessarily to come every month - regular basics would be textiles and laptop tuning - and electrical appliances if/when able volunteers and funding for necessary kit available , - + seasonal or occasional repair offers could be bikes (outdoors), clocks, china, musical instruments, woodwork (outdoors)
  • Donations, grants from wherever possible
  • Purchases: kit (not much needed for initial repairs but would need, e g, extension lead and cable cover, table protectors), storage boxes, posters/banner. MM noted that RC logo varies on various documents and formats and we agreed to put up with that even though it would not always be the one preferred by the CG!).

- Special offer only for registered Repair Cafés from iFixit
Worth £70, free, only postage required. 1 x Pro Tech Toolkit; 1 x Poster A3 iFixit Manifest; 20 x Flyer A6 iFixit Manifest; 20 x Flyer A6 „iFixit - how it works“; 10 x Sticker „Fix the World“; Sugru Mouldable Rubber. (MM would register for this when available.)


Useful websites

For advice, how to...

and there are doubtless others including YouTube.

For recruiting volunteers...
Nextdoor - https://nextdoor.co.uk/
KVA Connected - https://www.connectedkingston.uk/ 


November 2023 - Progress report
Venue: Kingston Library

Maya and MM had a very positive meeting with Kingston librarians on Th 17 Nov (DH-D couldn’t come, but had seen and approved the space). We all want similar things, e g outreach and footfall - the library space needs new users and we need a good space; Library community room will be available on Saturdays, no payment required, and they hope to return to opening every Saturday in 2023, which would suit us - we could have the 1st Sat am every month; there is a bit of outdoor space that we could use in the summer, including the former children’s library site where there are now “cloisters” managed by Community Brain; there is an urn we could use for teas/instant coffee (water and kitchen facilities upstairs in Museum); we promised to do all necessary clearing up afterwards and would work out a way of collecting up irreparable stuff and getting it collected for recycling; storage of RC would be OK (though on open shelves so nothing valuable), as most of the books will be moved out; there were no worries about soldering or ironing, but we agreed that we should organise a risk assessment/managing difficult people... session for as many volunteers as possible, maybe in January,  maybe led by KVA or by our own experts, maybe open to other green groups. Target to start first Sat am in Feb.


October 2023
Progress report, TTK CG meeting, 25/10/22

Funding - 
TT and Veolia funding applications had gone in and it was agreed to start a new funding pot for this project, which was likely to grow, and to start the fund with the £500 from John Lewis, which would enable a small-scale launch with textile repairs (MM) and computer software advice (DH-D, PMc), popular asks in recent market research and at other local RCs (+ electrical appliances), while we gathered more volunteers and expertise. Info gathered so far (including on items to purchase and a few costings) and in future would be saved for reference here.

It was agreed to begin by joining the Repair Café network (https://www.repaircafe.org/en) which had lots of useful advice, including logos, disclaimer forms, and would publicise our RC for a one-off payment of 49 Euros (MM). Application doc is here, and confirmation received 26/10:  Thank you for registering with Repaircafe.org/en! Via the link below you can activate your account and choose a password. Once you are logged in, you can download the Repair Café starter kit. You will find the kit under the button 'My account' (top right in the blue bar). Is your Repair Café ready to go? Let us know via your account. We will add your location to the Repair Café world map. You will also get your own page on our website, where you can give all sorts of information about your Repair Café. Good luck preparing your own Repair Café and see you soon! ActivateStarter kit and useful docs at https://www.repaircafe.org/en/dashboard/downloads/, hoping this is shareable. Repair Café manual is now saved at https://e-voice.org.uk/ttkingston/assets/other/repair-cafe-manual

We should also consider joining/registering with https://therestartproject.org/ and https://www.ifixit.com/, which had lots of repair guides, especially on electronics, and campaigns and seemed compatible with the Repair Café network.

Venue - MM would arrange a meeting with Kingston librarian Faye Jackson as their new community room (early 2023) seemed the most suitable space, though lacking a kitchen and power points - others were welcome to come along, and to combine if possible with a visit to Kingston Workmen’s Club (https://www.kingstonworkmens.club/hall-hire/), which ticks all the boxes but would cost. DH-D also wanted to view STWC’s new premises, though MM thought there would be no suitable space there, and PMc and MM thought Kingston Hive’s meanwhile space at the Cycle Hub next to Kingston Station would be too small. Other suggestions of suitable spaces would be welcomed - central and accessible, large enough for several tables/work-spaces, airy (Covid hasn’t gone away), storage, with a bit of outdoor space for messy work, available on Saturdays which seems to be the optimum time for this kind of thing, lots of power points... + a kitchen would be a bonus... Guildhall community space/empty offices maybe? Other points - check whether soldering would be permitted (fire regs, alarms), ask if there could be a recycling bin nearby for appliances beyond repair.

CG members could try to visit Twickenham Repair Café https://www.twickenhamrepaircafe.org/, open on 3rd Saturday of each month 10:30 to 13:30; and/or Elmbridet Eco Hub repair café https://elmbridgeecohub.org.uk/repair-cafe/ open on 2nd  Saturday day of every month 10am -2pm as they would have other questions and observations. Coould also watch a short video, "Why throw it away?" at at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQTCr-e1wE8 about a day with the volunteers at Nailsworth Repair Cafe, offering free repairs to everything from an antique sewing machine to a power saw. A project inspired by the thought of David Fleming, the cafe is part of Transition Stroud. 

KE News: MM had drafted an item about the RC project to clarify the possibilities and requirements as there seemed to be some misconceptions around.


September 2023
TTK repair survey -  Findings at GreenZone 2022 confirmed what other repair cafes have told us, as have the limited Survey Monkey reponses.

Learnings from neighbouring repair cafes and similar...

From Twickenham Repair Café (https://www.twickenhamrepaircafe.org/) (phone conversation and visit on 17/9/22 - see also their data at https://e-voice.org.uk/ttkingston/assets/other/twickenham-rc-data)

Volunteers (they have 15+!) recruited mainly via Nextdoor, none of them professional repairers but experienced and skilled.

Funding - they have been promised £500 from Council and reckon start-up cost is c £1000. They take donations on the way out (someone - a receptionist/manager - has to do this and they have a card reader), and people are quite generous, so they make enough to cover ongoing costs.

Venue: they have free use of a good-sized church hall, with a bit of storage, toilets, a kitchen, tables and chairs, and some outdoor space for messy work. There were about 10 tables, with one or two volunteers per table, for different kinds of repair.

Repairs - 50% electrical, which they can either repair or diagnose that it can’t be repaired, the rest is very varied - china, furniture, bikes, sewing, clocks... with really messy work done outdoors, and clearing up after themselves. The ethos is “watch and learn” so there is an element of skill-sharing - with cake and coffee etc available.

Rules and disclaimers - sensible and useful, like all the ones I’ve looked at; users sign in and take responsibility for their objects and the risks - https://www.twickenhamrepaircafe.org/rules. They recommend joining the national repair café network - https://www.repaircafe.org/en/ - for access to advice, design, rules and useful forms for a one-off fee of £49 - https://www.repaircafe.org/en/join/start-your-own/.

Kit - skilled and specialist volunteers usually prefer to bring their own, so they don’t (and can’t) have a complete range, but they have spent £300 on a PAT tester (e g, https://www.tester.co.uk/electrical-electronic/pat-testing-equipment/pat-testers), and have enough plastic table cloths, some heat-proof industrial ones, to protect church hall tables from mess and, e g, solder. Also, some generally useful stuff like a selection of glues (including some expensive ones like those dentists use and set with UV light), screws etc + equipment to fill gaps. Some of the offers, e g, a much-used electric knife sharpener, were not specially bought, one of the volunteers just happened to have one.

Storage - they have a cupboard in the church hall, where they can store tools and small unfinished repairs.

Publicity - they use all the local media they can, have found that most volunteers and users are very local - needing a good comms volunteer.
Saturday mornings seem like a good time - Twickenham was busy when we visited.


Message from Richmond MakerLabs, 16/9/22 (https://richmondmakerlabs.uk/)
A domestic repair facility in Kingston would be very worthwhile.

I think your focus should be on recruiting volunteers with practical skills in the areas of repair you might offer: sewing, upholstery, woodwork, clocks, bicycles, as well as electrical.

Each of those volunteers would already have the relevant tools, and would be in a good position to advise you what's missing.

Although a few RML members have participated individually in local repair events, RML itself doesn't offer any kind of repair service.  We aim to be a place where community members can come and use our tools themselves.

If a repair event operates one day a month, there will be no need to store tools and equipment at the venue.  But if you were envisaging something like once a week, every week, you might find it difficult to get that kind of commitment from volunteer repairers.

Good luck with the project, and do stay in touch with us.

Kind regards Ian B.for Richmond MakerLabs,


From Elmbridge Eco Hub 20/9/22 (https://elmbridgeecohub.org.uk/)

... it’s great to hear about another potential Repair Cafe setting up - I think Kew the Transition is also thinking of setting one up (if they haven’t already done so). 

Whilst we do have a basic supply of hand tools that we generally use as part of the wider Community Eco Hub project - we are also in the fortunate position of our repairers having access to the electrical tools that we have within our Library of Things e.g. saw, sander, drill etc etc. Having said that, our experience is that most repairers like to bring their own tools with them, and only call upon us for odds and ends that they don’t have e.g. paint brush for dusting out items etc etc.

We have however a basic supply of textile repair items including a sewing machine (also part of our Library of Things), threads, needles, fabrics, iron on patches, an iron etc

Glues and clamps are important, as are a good supply of extension leads. So that each repairer bench has one, and possibly a desk lamp, saucer or similar for screws etc, cleaning cloth. We have just bought a glasses repair kit, and are about to buy a staple gun and Torx screw heads…

Through our learning we don’t repair any petrol items or undertake jobs that require welding. We have policies in place for items that take longer than the hour to be fixed. 

We have decided to PAT test all electrical items that we work on before they leave our care - and this may be something that your insurance cover will also determine.

We’re very happy to meet you to discuss this in further detail, but we’re also going to be at the Thames Ditton Nature and Climate Festival this Saturday coming 2-4pm in the Thames Ditton Community Centre if you want to pop along to see us? Failing that, let’s meet for a coffee and chat shall we?

Sat 24th - MM met up with Sue of Elmbridge Eco-Hub at the Thames Ditton Eco Festival this afternoon, and had a chat, much of which confirmed what I’ve gathered from other repair cafes. Their most common electrical repair task is toasters, and they have also had a lot of garden tools recently. Someone was fixing a radio while I was there (or at least taking it to bits!). The very useful points she made were that cakes and coffee etc were important for making volunteers feel valued and visitors welcome, that you need a lot of organisers, cake bakers, meeters and greeters, form and data gatherers... as well as the skilled repairers, and that you need to devise some kind of queuing/booking/advance notice system (see https://elmbridgeecohub.org.uk/repair-cafe/ for theirs), so that repairers are ready for what is brought in. They were also recommending https://www.ifixit.com/ as a useful resource. The Repair Café opens once a month on second Saturdays at Elmbridge Eco-Hub, where they have more outdoor than indoor space and are beginning to wonder what they’ll do in the winter, possibly even look for another space, but like us don’t want to pay rent. 


From Somerset House exhibition, summer 2022

Images from Eternally Yours“exploring ideas around care, repair and healing” and mending beautifully, creatively and visibly. 
See also Kintsugi - the Japanese art of repair - on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEJ23t940UY