What’s a repair cafe?

We throw away vast amounts of ‘stuff’. Often household items may have almost nothing wrong with them, and they could get a new lease of life after a simple repair. However, it may seem easier to throw something away as knowing how to make repairs is a skill that has been lost by many people.

The Horsham Repair Café aims to bring the local community together in a free meeting place, to share skills, understanding and valuable practical knowledge.

You’ll find tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need.  Things can be repaired and remade, used for longer and don’t have to be thrown away, which is good for the pocket and for the planet. The volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new products is much reduced, and less stuff has to go to landfill.  It also cuts CO2 emissions, because manufacturing new products and recycling old ones causes CO2 to be released.

Here are some top tips on how to prolong the life of your electrical equipment.

The Horsham Repair Café aims to teach people to see their possessions in a new light and to, once again, appreciate their value. We hope that having the space to chat in a supportive environment will encourage enthusiasm for repairing and a change in mind-set. Together we can ignite and spark ideas, sow seeds of change and move towards a more sustainable society. Being part of a mending community is great fun and very sociable, and often it can be very easy.

Come and enjoy a cup of tea, a piece of cake, and share your enthusiasm and skill – show someone how to mend something! We always need more volunteers -as general helpers or people with technical repair and craft skills. You can contact us here.

Refill, renew, refresh, repair, think before you throw!


Before your repair:

1. You must complete the top section of the Registration Form for HRC records before any repairs can be considered. All information is treated with the utmost confidence. If you choose to leave an email address, this will be added to our mailing list and you will automatically be reminded of future Repair Café events.

2. Sharp tools and dangerous equipment are present and sometimes used in repairs. You must exercise control over, and be responsible for, the behaviour of children in your care whilst attending the HRC. Children will not be admitted unless accompanied by an adult.

3. The advice and repair service is conducted by experienced volunteers. Although there is no charge for their time, skill or advice, you are invited to make a voluntary donation to cover our costs which include the purchase of tools and equipment, and building lighting, heating and maintenance.

4. Normally, a maximum of ONE item per visitor will be examined per visit. However, should time allow, extra items  may be considered for examination and repair.

5. All repairs carried out at the HRC are performed at your own risk. Neither the organisers of HRC nor the repairers in personal capacities or otherwise are liable for any accidental damage or loss that may occur to either your goods (including vehicles) or your personal effects during your time at the HRC.

During your repair:

6. After making an initial assessment of your item, our repairers will discuss the repair with you. Sometimes our repairers may be unable to effect a repair for various reasons. You will be told these reasons, but our repairers are fully entitled to use their discretion and refuse to repair an item should they so decide.

7. You may be given advice, e.g. tips on how to prevent a future failure.

8. Normally you are responsible for providing any consumables such as leads, plugs, fuses, zips, etc. that may be needed to fully complete a repair. As our repairers cannot carry a comprehensive stock of parts, a second visit to HRC may be required to complete your repair.

9. You should remain with the repairer while the repair is being carried out in order to see how the repair is being done and to pick up new skills. Items must not be left with the repairer and collected at a later time. There may be occasions when a  repairer offers to take the item home in order to better diagnose the fault or effect a repair. Neither the repairer nor HRC assume any responsibility for safe keeping.

10. Volunteers and visitors are expected to treat each other with mutual respect.

After your repair:

11. You are responsible for the removal of all items brought into the HRC. There are no facilities at the HRC for the disposal of your items.

12. Where applicable, electrical equipment will be subject to a Portable Appliance Test prior to leaving the HRC. Our repairer will either deem the appliance safe to use, or not safe to use. HRC takes no responsibility in any form whatsoever for any item, repaired or otherwise, once it has left the HRC.

13. HRC do not provide any warranty or guarantee on any repairs carried out and are not liable in any way should an item subsequently not work properly or fail again or cause any consequential loss or damage.

14. Neither the organisers of HRC nor the repairers in personal capacities or otherwise are liable for any loss or injury whatsoever that may result from any repair carried out or for any advice or instructions given and used at a later date.