We asked people to email us to say they wanted to take part with a photo or description of the item that needed repairing. This not only helped with managing the number of participants and safeguarding (instead of publishing the zoom call details publicly for anyone to join without contacting us first) but once we had received an email we could also forward the details of the item to the appropriate volunteers so they could be prepared for the call.
We also sent out two forms to the prospective participants. The “House Rules” – which we asked them to read, sign/print their name and date and send them back to complete their registration – and a “How it Works” sheet to help participants and volunteers understand what to expect and how to navigate the zoom call.
We used a free zoom account. This meant no ‘breakout rooms’ everyone listened in as we went through each item and we were careful to keep things moving along (about 10 mins/item). The call lasted just over an hour which felt like just the right amount of time – we asked everyone to log back in once the 40 minute time limit was up and let people know they could leave once their item had been discussed (a few stayed on to listen).
One of the great things about it was that the whole BRC team got to offer advice on each item – whether that was how to repair it, where to get parts, who might be able to help in the local area, or about how to get the manufacturers to take responsibility (if the item is under 6 years old it’s covered by the 2015 Consumer Rights Act and the manufacturer should replace or repair it). This meant participants received a range of advice from low level effort/skill/confidence/tools needed to higher level. They could then work out what they could do to fix the item.
We had some lovely feedback after the event:
“Thank you so much for that session. It was really interesting to hear everyone’s approaches to fixing things.
I have squirted some 3 in 1 oil on a couple of sticky parts in the zigzag mechanism and the sewing is almost perfectly straight now. Once it has worked its way through, I think it will have solved the problem.
I would be interested to join in future even without anything to fix as it is a great way of learning and picking up tips.
“Thank you loads again Brighton Repair Cafe Team for all your wonderful help and advice you all gave tonight, not just for my items, I really found it helpful listening to the advice about the items other people brought too.
Thank you all for your time, energy, wisdom, care, advice and info 🙂
I actually live in Eastbourne, so being able to join you all online is really great for me….. Might you consider holding a cafe online now and again after lockdown?”
The answer is yes, we are considering whether to continue online advisory sessions once we can get the physical events back up and running but in the mean time…
We are planning to hold another online event in a month’s time on the
28th July 7:30-8:30pm. You are welcome to join us.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your item.