The Repair Cafés are closed for the time being, but volunteers are still repairing. Repair your items together online with Repair Connects!
More than ever, it is crucial to keep the spirit of conviviality and solidarity of the Repair Cafés alive. They are at a standstill, but many volunteer repairers are still available to advise and help citizens repair.
Repair Together wants to support the commitment of these volunteers, in particular through the European Sharepair project. Within the framework of this project, Maakbaar Leuven has developed a new online remote support platform with the help of Statik. Repair Together and other partners then contributed to the development of this platform. It is now ready to welcome you and we invite you to join us!
What is Repair Connects?
Repair Connects is a tool designed to support the repair community, keep the repair process from petering out during the lockdown and build relationships.
It is a tool that connects people: it allows citizens to register their faulty devices with their local Repair Café and in turn the repairers will try to help these citizens remotely to repair by themselves.
The aim of Repair Connects is to use digital technology as a tool to simplify and optimise the work of the Repair Cafés. In the next phases of the project, we would like the users of the tool to reflect with us on how this platform could continue to support the Repair Cafés after their reopening.
How does it work?
- The owner of a device registers the device via the website.
- Registered repairers receive a weekly email with all registered devices.
- Registered repairers can view the list of devices and select the ones they are interested in.
- The owner of the device receives a message that a repairer has selected their device and will contact them.
- The repairer receives the owner's contact information and contacts them by email or phone to help them remotely.
More detailed explanations of the Repair Connects user experience can be found in this document.
Thank you for this very nice initiative during this period! It allowed me to get in touch with one of your (very very efficient) repairers who succeeded in repairing a no-frost freezer which has now been resuscitated! And as a bonus, I received some important information you don't get in electrical household appliance shops...
How to get involved as a repairer or Repair Café?
There are 3 ways to participate in the platform:
- By joining the general group of the Repair Together network called "Repair Café Virtuel Wallonie/Bruxelles" and helping each other in this region.
- By joining the platform with your own Repair Café. We require at least one person from the team to be designated as the coordinator - "entity administrator" - of your Repair Café. Their role will be to validate the devices that get registered with you and to coordinate the registration of any new repairer in your group.
- By reflecting with us on potential uses of the tool in your Repair Café after its reopening and giving us your feedback on the current tool.
And in practice? If you want to start using Repair Connects right away, go to www.repairconnects.org/en and join the "Repair Café Virtuel Wallonie/Bruxelles". If you would like to join the platform with your entire Repair Café team, simply fill out the form or write to firstname.lastname@example.org to indicate that your Repair Café would like to use the Repair Connects platform. Don't forget to mention the following information:
- the name of your Repair Café
- your location
- your email address
- your phone number
We will contact you to help you get started and will create your Repair Café's "administrator" account together so you can edit your group's web page and allow repairers to join you.