Fix Somerset with repair cafes and Fixy van

From Somerset’s growing repair cafe network to the new Fixy reuse van, repair is a great way to help people waste less, spend less and connect more. Got a Fixy Victory? Scroll down to enter our free prize draw!

And check out …
■ Fixy reuse van at events
■ Repair cafes
■ How to get involved
■ How to donate tech for reuse

Working alongside Somerset’s existing repair cafe groups, the new Fixy reuse van is visiting events, schools and businesses to promote repair, support repair cafes with tools and a PAT – portable appliance testing – safety service, encourage volunteers to get involved, and collect smart tech for reuse.

With average households holding on to 20 unwanted electricals, Fixy’s first year is dedicated to giving anything with a plug or batteries a new lease of life if it stops working, and helping people to get things mended rather than throwing them away.

Every year, we discard millions of tons of electrical and electronic items. Recycling is good, but reuse is even better, and it is often easy to fix things. You can save money, materials and energy, and take action against climate change. Why not love your stuff for longer?

For more about Fixy and ways to reduce, reuse and recycle, bookmark this page, follow @somersetwaste on Facebook and Twitter, and scroll down to subscribe to the SORTED! e-newsletter by clicking on the green button, below. And to learn more about the circular economy, check out the resources at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation: https://ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/

The Fixy initiative is led by the Resource Futures consultancy, in partnership with Somerset Waste Partnership and Donate-IT, a local community interest company that data-wipes and refurbishes laptops, tablets and phones, and distributes them to schools, community groups and families who need them. Bring along to Fixy and donate any broken or unwanted smart tech, such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, smart watches, digital cameras, game consoles, routers, hard drives, external disk drives, and their leads and chargers.

(Ensure your device is unlocked from your iCloud account or log out of your accounts on other devices so these can be reused. Items that cannot be reused will be recycled. See what to do before you sell, give away or trade in your iPhone or iPad. Can’t get to a Fixy event? You can donate your smart tech at one of DonateIT’s collection points.)

Scroll down to find Fixy events and repair cafés, and click on the video below for why repair cafés are important…

 

■ Friday 20 January 10am-1pm – South Somerset District Council/Department of Work and Pensions “Getting Help with the Cost of Winter” event at Martock Parish Hall, Church Street, Martock TA12 6JL. Fixy reuse van will collect smart tech, signpost future events, promote reuse, encourage volunteers (no repairers available).

■ Saturday 21 January 10am-1pm – Frome Town Hall, Christchurch Street West, Frome BA11 1EB. Fixy reuse van will collect smart tech, signpost future events, promote reuse, encourage volunteers (no repairers available).

■ Wednesday 25 January 10am-1pm – South Somerset District Council/Department of Work and Pensions “Getting Help with the Cost of Winter” event at The Guildhall, Fore Street, Chard TA20 1PH. Fixy reuse van will collect smart tech, signpost future events, promote reuse, encourage volunteers (no repairers available).

Saturday 28 January 10am-1pm – Repair Café in the Blackdown Hills, Hemyock Parish Hall, Hemyock, Cullompton, Devon EX15 3QW. Fixy will support the repair café, collect smart tech, signpost future events, promote reuse, encourage volunteers.

Tuesday 31 January 10am-12 noon – Old Small Hall, Village Hall, Mount Street, Bishop’s Lydeard TA4 3LH. Fixy reuse van will help visitors with minor PC issues (sorry, not repairs), collect donated smart tech for reuse, signpost future events, promote reuse and encourage potential volunteers.

Wednesday 1 February 10am-1pm – South Somerset District Council/Department of Work and Pensions “Getting Help with the Cost of Winter” event at the Balsam Centre, Balsam Park, Wincanton BA9 9HB. Fixy reuse van will collect smart tech, signpost future events, promote reuse, encourage volunteers (no repairers available).

Saturday 11 February 10am-12noon – Café Burtle, Village Hall, Burtle Road, Burtle, Bridgwater TA7 8NB. With “Pop Up Repair Event” – volunteer repairer fixing electrical and general items – Fixy reuse van will collect smart tech, signpost future events, promote reuse, encourage volunteers.

Saturday 18 February 9am-1pm – Farmers Market, Town Hall, Market Square, Crewkerne, TA18 7LN. Fixy reuse van will collect smart tech, signpost future events, promote reuse, encourage volunteers.

■ Saturday 25 February (time TBC) – Spring Seed Swap and Vegan Food Festival, High Street, Bridgwater. Fixy will signpost future events (Bridgwater Repair Café usually meets last Saturday of the month at The Engine Room, High Street, Bridgwater TA6 3BL), promote reuse, encourage volunteers and take smart tech donations (no repairers available).

Upcoming repair cafes and hubs (details of all groups below – do re-check before travelling)

Links for all the groups are in the next section.

Repair Groups 2023 (Jan to Mar)Notes, patternTimeDates
Bishop’s Hull Repair Café,
Bishops Hull Hub, Bishops Hull Hill, Taunton TA1 5EB
Ad-hoc. Check direct with group.
Repair Café in the Blackdown Hills
Hemyock Parish Hall, Hemyock, Cullompton EX15 3QW
The fourth Saturday of every other month: Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Nov.10am-1pmJan: Sat 28
Feb: NA
Mar: Sat 25
Repair Café Bridgwater
The Engine Room, 50-52 High St, Bridgwater TA6 3BL
Usually last Saturday every month, except Aug and Dec.11am-2pmJan: Sat 28
Feb: Sat 25
Mar: Sat 25
Burnham-on-Sea and Highbridge (under consideration)Please get in touch if you would like to help this group.
Chard Community Hub
(Sewing Repair)
9 Fore Street, Chard TA20 1PP
Usually every Tuesday10-11.30amTuesdays
Chard Community Hub
(General Repair Hub)
9 Fore Street, Chard TA20 1PP
Usually every other Saturday.9am-12noonJan: Sat 7, 21
Feb: Sat 4, 18
Mar: Sat 4, 18
Compton Dundon Repair Café
Meadway Hall, Ham Lane,
Compton Dundon TA11 6PQ
TBC10am-12noonJan: Sat 21
Feb: TBC
Mar: TBC
Share:Frome a library of things
3A The Bridge, Frome BA11 1AR
Postponed until further notice
Glastonbury Repair Café
St Benedicts Church, Benedict St, Glastonbury BA6 9NB
Third Saturday every month at alternate venues10am-12noonJan: Sat 21
Feb: other venue
Mar: Sat 18
Glastonbury Repair Café
St Edmunds Community Hall, Chinnock Rd, Glastonbury, BA6 8EW
Third Saturday every month at alternate venues10am-12noonJan: other venue
Feb: Sat 18
Mar: other venue
Greener Hatch Beauchamp (under consideration)Please get in touch if you would like to help this group.
Ilminster Share and Repair
18 Silver Street, Ilminster TA19 0DJ
Usually weekly Mon, Thu and Sat10am-12noonMon, Thu, Sat
Langport Repair Café
All Saints Hall, North Street,
Langport TA10 0DJ
Fourth Saturday every month12.30-2.30pmJan: Sat 28
Feb: Sat 25
Mar: Sat 25
New repair group in Minehead - details coming soonLaunch proposed for 15 April 2023TBA
Otterford Repair Café
Otterford Parish Hall, Bishopswood TA20 3RS
Approximately every 3 months on a Sunday.11am-2pmJan: Sun 15
Feb: NA
Mar: NA
Porlock Vale Repair Café
Allerford & Selworthy Community Hall, Hare Park, Allerford TA24 8HL
Ad-hoc on a Saturday10am-12noonJan: NA
Feb: Sat 25
Mar: NA
Porlock Vale Repair Café
Porlock Village Hall, Toll Road
(New Road), Porlock TA24 8QD
Ad-hoc on a Saturday10am-12noonJan: Sat 28
Feb: NA
Mar: Sat 25
Porlock Vale Repair Café
Wootton Courtenay Village Hall, Wootton Courtenay TA24 8RH
Ad-hoc on a Saturday10am-12noonJan: NA
Feb:
Mar:
Shepton Mallet (Art Bank)
The Art Bank, 13 High Street,
Shepton Mallet BA4 5AA
Second Saturday every month11am-1pmJan: Sat 14
Feb: Sat 11
Mar: Sat 11
Street (under consideration)Please get in touch if you would like to help this group.
Taunton Repair Café
Moose Hall, Tower Lane,
Taunton TA1 4AR
Second Saturday every other month.10.30am-12.30pmJan: Sat 14
Feb: NA
Mar: Sat 11
Green Wedmore
Wedmore Village Hall, Cheddar Road, Wedmore BS28 4EQ
Ad-hoc, approximately every six monthscheck with group
Wellington Repair Café
Baptist Church Hall, South Street, Wellington TA21 8NR
First Saturday every other month10am-12noonJan: Sat 7
Feb: NA
Mar: Sat 4
Wells Repair Café
St Thomas’ Church Hall, 94 Saint Thomas Street, Wells, BA5 2UZ
First Saturday every other month10am-12.30pmJan: Sat 7
Feb: NA
Mar: Sat 4
Repair Café Wincanton
Balsam Centre, Balsam Park, Wincanton BA9 9HB (new venue)
Usual schedule may be disrupted during transition to new venue.10am-1pmJan: Sat 28
Feb: TBC
Mar: TBC
Wivey Repair Café (Wiveliscombe)Usually third Saturday of every month, but subject to change10am-12noonJan: Sat 21
Feb: Sat 18
Mar: TBC
Yeovil Repair Workshop (under development)Please get in touch if you would like to help this group.

Holding a repair café or other event you would like Fixy to attend? Email fixy@somersetwaste.gov.uk and tell us where and when your event will be. If we are not already booked, we will send you a booking form that covers everything we need consider your request.

Despite pressure from a throw-away society, many people are learning and sharing skills to do simple repairs to save money and avoid throwing items away.

Repair events bring people together and offer practical help when commercial repair costs are prohibitive. Many small repairs are easy to do with a little know-how, lots of help can be found online, and plenty of people in your community have useful skills.

Repair cafés – the global movement

Started in The Netherlands, Repair Café has helped repair go global, with more than 1,000 Repair Cafés worldwide and many UK groups running sessions under the Repair Café brand.

Repair Café has put together useful resources to help more groups get started. Somerset Waste Partnership has bought a copy of the “Repair Café how-to toolkit”, which is available free to Somerset groups on request (terms and conditions apply). For a copy, please email us quoting “Repair Café toolkit” in the subject line. This does not commit you to run an event.

A growing number of community organisations are offering help to fix household items. If you know of a local repair group not on our list – below – do email us.

Bishop’s Hull, Taunton: Bishops Hull Repair Cafe, Bishops Hull Hub, Bishops Hull Hill, Bishops Hull, Taunton TA1 5EB. Check online for dates and times.

Blackdown Hills, Hemyock: Repair Café in the Blackdown Hills, Hemyock Parish Hall, Hemyock, Cullompton, Devon EX15 3QW, 10am-1pm, fourth Saturday of every other month (Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Nov).

Bridgwater: Repair Café Bridgwater, The Engine Room, 50- 52 High Street, Bridgwater TA6 3BL, 11am-2pm, usually last Saturday of each month.

Chard: Chard Community Hub, 9 Fore Street, Chard TA20 1PP. Sewing Repair Hub weekly Tuesdays 10 to 11.30am. Repair Hub, fortnightly Saturdays 9am-12noon.

Compton Dundon: Compton Dundon Repair Cafe, Meadway Hall, Ham Lane, Compton Dundon, Somerton TA11 6PQ. 10am to 12 noon on a Saturday once a month. Launched 21 Jan 2023.

Frome: Share:Frome events. Check online for dates and times.

Frome: Remakery: Frome (Facebook @remakeryfrome), Edventure, The Welsh Mill Hub, Park Hill Drive, Frome BA11 2LE. Check online for dates and times.

Glastonbury: Glastonbury Repair Café, St Edmund’s Community Hall, Chinnock Road, Glastonbury BA6 8EW, or St Benedict’s Church, Benedict Street, Glastonbury BA6 9NB, 10am-12 noon, third Saturday of each month.

Hatch Beauchamp: Greener Hatch Beauchamp are considering setting up a repair group. Please get in touch if you would like to help.

Ilminster: Ilminster Share and Repair (Facebook) or website, 18 Silver Street, Ilminster TA19 0DJ, 10am-12noon, Mon and Thu, 10am-1pm Sat, usually every week.

Langport: events in All Saints’ Hall, North Street, Langport TA10 9QF, 12.30pm-2.30pm, fourth Saturday of each month.

Minehead: new group coming soon. Proposed launch Sat 15 April TBC. Please check later for details.

Otterford (on the Blackdown Hills): Otterford Repair Café, Otterford Parish Hall, Bishopswood TA20 3RS, 11am-2pm, quarterly. Check online for dates and times.

Porlock Vale: Porlock Vale Repair Café at 4R’s Waste Reduction in Porlock, venues vary – Allerford Village Hall, Prolock Village Hall, Wootton Courtenay Village Hall – 10am-12noon, one Saturday a month. Check online for details.

Shepton Mallet: Shepton Mallet Repair Café, Art Bank, 13 High Street, Shepton Mallet BA4 5AA. 10.30am-1pm, second Saturday of the month.

Street: in development. Please get in touch if you would like to help.

Taunton: Taunton Repair Café (Taunton Transition Town), Moose Hall, Tower Lane, Taunton, TA1 4AR. 10.30am-12.30pm, second Saturday of the month, every other month.

Wedmore: Green Wedmore, Wedmore Village Hall, Cheddar Road, Wedmore BS28 4EQ. Repair events approximately every six months. Check online for dates and times.

Wellington: Wellington Repair Café (Transition Town Wellington), Baptist Church Hall, South Street, Wellington TA21 8NR, 10am-12noon, first Saturday every other month (Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Nov).

Wells: Wells Repair Café (Sustainable Wells), St Thomas’ Church Hall, 94 Saint Thomas Street, Wells, BA5 2UZ, 10am-12.30pm, first Saturday every other month (Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Nov).

Wincanton: Repair Café Wincanton (One Planet Wincanton), Balsam Centre, Balsam Park, Wincanton BA9 9HB (new venue), 10am-1pm, usually on a Saturday once a month. Please check for dates as usual schedule may be disrupted during transition to new venue.

Wiveliscombe: Wivey Repair Café, Wiveliscombe Community Centre, West Street, Wiveliscombe, Somerset TA4 2JP, 10am-12noon, usually last Saturday of every month. Check online for dates.

Yeovil: Yeovil Repair Workshop (in development). Please get in touch if you would like to help.

All dates are subject to change. Please check direct with groups for latest information before you travel.

There are groups beyond Somerset’s boundary, including Bedminster (BS3 in Bristol) and Winscombe, Tiverton and Sherborne.

In Frome, as well as repair cafes organised by SHARE – a Library of Things and Remakery Frome, there is a SHARE skills-share notice board to offer or ask for help.

Men’s Sheds, which provides a place where men can pursue practical interests, often involve repair. The number of Somerset Men’s Sheds is growing, along with the potential to work with them on repair initiatives. For example, Men’s Shed at the Balsam Centre, Wincanton has shared practical making and fixing skills with local groups.

Find what skills your friends, family or colleagues have – maybe they are great at sewing, keen on woodwork, electronics or fixing computer problems. You could get together for a repair day. For group projects, you could set up repair workshops to reduce waste by teaching people repair skills, give items a new lease of life, and help people save money.

Click for help – online repair advice

A growing online community shares free helpful instructions to support fixing stuff, such as:

  • ifixit.com includes appliances, gadgets, household items, clothing and musical instruments
  • howtofixyourstuff.com includes computers, electronics, general household and home improvements
  • howifixthings.com for home improvements
  • sugru.com has a wide range of repair guides, as well as craft projects – with a helpful search filter to find what you need
  • instructables.com includes a variety of guides on how to make or repair things, and you can search by category
  • parktool.com or madegood.org for free bicycle repair videos, tutorials and trouble-shooting
  • loveyourclothes.org.uk for sewing repairs and tips to make your clothes last longer

Check for courses available – either online learning or at your local colleges – to improve skills, as well as interest groups, like sewing clubs.

For more information, see our Repair handout. For more on sharing and reuse, go to: somersetwaste.gov.uk/reuse-pass-it-on.

Somerset repair groups are recruiting new volunteers. Can you donate your time and skills? Groups need people to help fix items, coordinate, welcome, make refreshments, publicity and more. Whatever your skills and interests, do contact a local group.

Repair groups volunteering has many benefits:
■ Acquire new skills and confidence.
■ Gain satisfaction and achievement.
■ Meet like-minded people in your area.
■ Help create a more sustainable world.

Share your repair success story for the chance to win a laptop or tablet.

We are seeking your “Fixy Victories” – examples of electricals or electronics fixed at one of the county’s repair cafés or groups, be it a temperamental toaster, unreliable radio or not-so-smart phone.

Examples can be logged anytime using the online form here. They will be shared through Somerset Waste Partnership’s social media, website and other communications.

Touching tale of Fixy in action – have you got a Fixy victory?

A cherished Roberts radio is playing again thanks to the Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) Fixy project. Emma (right, see with her radio and her prize), from Taunton, is one of SWP’s prize draw winners, picking up a refurbished laptop after sharing her touching tale of repair and reuse in action.

Having seen one of our Fixy posts on Facebook, she went along to the Taunton Repair Café with a 50-year-old Roberts radio. It had not worked for years and used to belong to her dad. He sadly passed away when Emma was aged just one and the radio is one of a handful of his possessions that she has, giving it enormous sentimental value.

A repairer at the café – which meets at Moose Hall in the town centre every second Saturday of the month – was able to get it going again by cleaning up rusted connections, breathing new life into a much-loved possession.

Emma said: “The radio is one of the only things of his that I have, so having it working again was really special,” said Emma. “It must be more than 50 years old and is precious to me. Hopefully I’ll get it fully refurbished one day, but for now just having it working again is great. It only gets AM and medium wave, but that doesn’t matter, I love just listening to it.”

Somerset Waste Partnership (SWP) is looking for more of your “Fixy Victories” – examples of electricals or electronics fixed at one of the county’s repair cafés or groups. At the end of each month, entries go in a prize draw with the winner given the choice of a ‘repaired for reuse’ laptop or tablet. Click here to log your victories! They will be shared, ideally with an image, through SWP’s social media, website and SORTED! e-newsletter.