Online repair – also after COVID-19!

Many Repair Cafés have gained experience with online sessions in recent months. During the lockdown, remote repair assistance has proven to be a good alternative to really repairing together. It has been such a success, that many want to continue doing it even after the corona crisis.

International exchange

One of the advantages of online sessions is that you can also exchange knowledge and experience with people outside your own circle. Also with repairers on the other side of the world. This kind of international exchange allows the community repair movement to strengthen itself enormously. That is desperately needed!

We would therefore like to inform our network about two platforms that want to continue online repair sessions even after the corona crisis. Both are open to participants from all over the world. You can sign up too! Either to get advice on a repair that you want to perform, or to help others with your advice.

RepairCafe.TV

From North Carolina in the United States comes RepairCafe.TV. This platform is an initiative of Don Fick, organizer of Repair Café North Carolina. RepairCafe.TV collects links to online repair sessions worldwide. Currently, the calendar contains six sessions, almost all hosted by Repair Café North Carolina itself. Anyone who has a repair question, or wants to participate as an expert, can register for each session.

Don Fick (top, middle) launched RepairCafe.TV in April 2020

Many sessions now scheduled are held when it is evening in North Carolina. In Europe it’s the middle of the night then. This will make it difficult for many Europeans to join these sessions. Don therefore hopes that repairers from other time zones will also register their online sessions with RepairCafe.TV. The idea is to collect so many sessions on the calendar that there is a suitable moment for everyone.

Sign Up

Do you want to attend an existing session? Sign up via RepairCafe.TV.
Do you want to publish your online session via RepairCafe.TV? Send a message to Don Fick. He usually publishes within a day and helps you further.

Virtual Fixit Clinics

In addition to RepairCafe.TV, there are also virtual Fixit Clinics. Fixit Clinics in the United States is an initiative of Peter Mui. He has been organizing his clinics for about ten years in more and more places in the US. In recent months, he has held seven virtual meetings via Zoom (which, by the way, are also being announced via RepairCafe.TV).

Peter Mui (bottom, left) has been busy with his Fixit Clinics for ten years now

“Virtual Fixit Clinics are emphasizing what remote repair does best”, says Peter from California. “That is: assembling a large number of repairers to work together, providing repair to places where there is no local Repair Café or similar initiative, and repairing things that are too large to bring to an in-person event.”

Virtual Fixit Clinics are scheduled to be time-friendly to as much of the world as possible and have had as many as 70+ people attend from many American states, but also from the UK, France, Sweden, India, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Sewing machine problems can be solved during Virtual Fixit Clinics too

Peter is looking to build a global village of community repairers: “We’re cultivating friendships among repairers worldwide as we learn from each other,” he says. He invites any and all local groups to co-host Virtual Fixit Clinics: “We’d love to spotlight and celebrate more local repair communities. We’re also documenting the events and cataloging items seen, creating a show that’s fun to attend live together with an online resource to help future repairers.”

Participate

Participating in a Virtual Fixit Clinic is very easy:
– People who want to try fixing from home can register as a participant.
– Repairers who want to help fix (or just observe) can register as a “fixit coach”.

Share your experience with online repair

Want to share your experience with online repair sessions? Scroll down this page and write a comment.

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1 Comment

  • Bryan McAlley 30.06.2020

    The way we work at the moment is that we are doing “drop it on our doorstep” repairs. I put the job out to our volunteers and anyone close to the customer who is prepared to take it one agrees to do so. If it can’t be resolved with advice (we have now repaired 9 sewing machines just by phoning up the owners and talking through the problem !), the volunteer then makes contact with the customer and gives them their address.

    The repair is then left on the volunteer’s doorstop and they tell the customer when when it’s fixed so they can then collect it. We then invite them to make a donation toward the Cafe…

    I keep a spreadsheet with all the online/doorstep repairs and who has what.

    Hope that helps,

    All the best,

    Bryan

    Bryan McAlley
    Founder & Coordinator
    Chailey Repair Cafe
    North Chailey
    East Sussex
    UK
    https://www.facebook.com/RepairCafe.org

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