What’s a Repair Café?

It’s a place where you can get a favourite thing fixed, save money, help save the planet and have a cup of coffee while you’re doing it. If it’s worn out, stopped working, torn or just on the blink, don’t throw it away – bring it along to Cholsey Repair Café and we’ll try to fix it. First, though, please read our House Rules.

Get it fixed

We'll examine your item and look for the cause of the fault. Then we’ll try to repair it. You can watch and help. You might pick up some tips to help you in the future.

Our volunteers can do electrical repair, computer repair, mechanical repair, sewing & textiles, bicycle maintenance, tool sharpening and just general sticking back together.

We might not be able to fix it on the day. It may need a special replacement part or it may be beyond our skills. In that case we’ll advise you what to do next. Sometimes the replacement part is readily available on the Web. We’ll advise you how to find it and you can then either try fitting it yourself, take it to a professional repairer or bring it back to the next Repair Café.

Save money

Throwing something away means you have to pay for a replacement. If we can fix it, we ask only that you pay for the materials we use and make a donation to our running costs – it’s up to you how much you give.

Save the planet

Put simply, everything we throw away damages our planet. That’s because the replacement you buy had to be manufactured. That uses up resources, pumps carbon into the atmosphere and perhaps uses unsustainable materials (we’ve all heard about plastics, rainforest logging, etc.) The less we buy, the less that will happen. Keep the one you’ve got — it’s been fine so far and probably does everything you need when it’s working.

Have a cup of coffee

… or tea, or a soft drink, and a cake if you like. The Cholsey Community Cafe serves refreshments in the pavilion foyer until 12 noon. So you can relax, have a snack and chat while you’re waiting for one of our volunteers.

What you can bring

Almost anything that one person can carry (unless you’re a champion weight-lifter – maybe check if your Mum can lift it). Here are some of the things we’ve fixed:

  • Food mixer
  • Toaster
  • Bicycle
  • Tools
  • Garden equipment
  • Clothing, bags and other textiles
  • Toys
  • Radio
  • PC / lap-top

What not to bring

  • We can’t tackle washing machines, fridges or other white goods.
  • There’s not much we can do with mobile phones, smaller tablets or other miniaturised and highly compact equipment, apart from checking batteries and removable parts (like a memory card). We can’t replace broken screens, etc.
  • Safety equipment, such as smoke alarms, because we cannot certify it as fit for purpose after repair.

Co-ordinator’s Message

Welcome to the Cholsey Repair Café (CRC) website. I decided some time ago that the battle to save the planet wasn’t going to be fought and won by governments and major pressure groups: the real power comes from communities and individuals that care enough about waste, pollution and excessive consumption that they are prepared to do something about it themselves. At this level, every little helps and the old saying “many a mickle makes a muckle” is particularly apt. So here we are, doing a little bit in Cholsey.

I see our mission as a drive to encourage our neighbours to value their possessions and to realise that repairing things is often still possible, even if designers no longer seem to cater for the concept.

A lot of things aren’t as broken as they look, provided you have a bit of skill to work out the problem. CRC currently has an excellent pool of ‘fixing’ skill and we’ve repaired a wide range of domestic items ranging from bicycles to food processors and toys to overcoats; in fact we have fixed around 85% of all the items brought to us over our first year of operation. We can also sharpen tools, sew on buttons and simply advise on how to give your possessions a longer useful life.

We are, of course, all volunteers and our primary aim is to help local people. New volunteers will always be welcome, so that it remains enjoyable to run the service. Our capacity is limited, so we would like to see many more communities opening their own repair cafés.

If you’d like to join the CRC fixers or find out how we went about setting ourselves up, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Ian Wheeler

House Rules

ALL USERS OF THIS VOLUNTARY SERVICE ARE REQUIRED TO READ AND ACKNOWLEDGE THIS NOTICE. VISITING THE CHOLSEY REPAIR CAFÉ IMPLIES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THESE TERMS.

The objective of the Repair Café is to help users make their own repairs. Unpaid volunteers with relevant expertise provide tools and are available to help and offer advice, but they cannot guarantee that every item can be repaired.

Users and visitors attend the Repair Café at their own risk. The organisers cannot be held responsible for any loss, damage to property or personal injury — direct or consequential — resulting from the activities of Cholsey Repair Café.

Hot and sharp tools may be in use and there may be other hazards. Young children must be supervised at all times and should not be allowed to play in this hall.

The volunteers reserve the right to decline or halt any repair that is outside the immediate scope of their time, equipment or knowledge, or to recommend that professional, paid-for advice be sought elsewhere.

Users are advised NOT to request repairs to items that are still covered by the maker’s or vendor’s guarantee, which would thus be invalidated.

Repairs, if possible at all, are carried out free of charge although a donation towards operating costs (principally hall hire) would be greatly appreciated and will enable the Repair Café to continue.

Users are required to pay for any spare parts, materials and consumables used in repairs.

Whilst every effort will be made to give satisfactory results, Cholsey Repair Café does not offer any form of warranty against workmanship or materials supplied to users.

The volunteers are not obliged to re-assemble items that cannot be repaired.

Users must remove their items from the premises, whether or not they have been repaired: Cholsey Repair Café does not provide a disposal service.

During busy times there may be queues for some types of repair. In that event we may limit users to one item at a time and if they have another item for attention they may re-join the back of the queue.

Website by Charles Lambert
Built on Milligram