The Big Fix breaks record for items fixed at a repair cafe

A volunteer fixer wearing watch-makers eye glassesCredit: Mark A Phillips

Posted on: 6 March 2019

Devon residents turned out in force last weekend to help break the record for the most items fixed at a single repair café.  

The Big Fix was organised by Devon County Council and Exeter Repair Café on Saturday February 23 and around 800 people brought in at least 400 broken items to the event at Belmont Chapel, Exeter.

Metal vase being soldered In total 32 volunteer general fixers, electricians, upcyclers and upholsterers from repair cafes across Devon worked non-stop to repair 268 items throughout the day — breaking the record set by Cambridge Repair Café in 2017 by 34 items.

Items repaired included anything and everything from clocks, lamps, train sets, sewing repairs, teddy bears, microwaves and lava lamps to zips, laptops, electric tool sharpeners, jewellery, drones, Xbox controllers, mobile phones and bikes.

And at least a further 60 items were identified as ‘fixable’ – just needing a cheap and easily purchased part – to be fixed at the next local repair café.

There were also advice sessions held by upcyclers and tech experts, and a teddy bear hospital was set up to repair cuddly toys. Exeter Scrapstore also held fun junk modelling sessions for the little ones.

Councillor Andrea Davis, the Chairman of the Devon Authorities Strategic Waste Committee said: “Congratulations to everyone involved in the Big Fix. The number of people who supported the event was fantastic and to break the record was a bonus.

“That families and people of all ages brought along their broken possessions tells me that waste is an issue that people right across our communities feel strongly about.

“People are starting to realise that extending the life of a hairdryer, repairing a garment or upcycling a sofa so it lasts for longer is one of the easiest things you can do for the environment, and it saves you money.”

Jude Dimuantes of the Exeter Repair said: “I’m delighted that we broke the record and so pleased with the way that all the repair cafes and the community pulled together for a great cause and to achieve a great outcome.

“While it was great to break the record the event was really about promoting the great work of the repair cafes who run these events month in month out and to get the message out there about what they do. By that measure it was a massive success and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

*Photos by Mark A Phillips

1 comment on “The Big Fix breaks record for items fixed at a repair cafe

  1. Sarah Mason says:

    This was amazing. It was my first repair café visit and I took a blender, a tablet PC, a lamp, and an old Kindle e-reader.
    They were able to fix the blender and the lamp and diagnose what might be wrong with the Kindle. No luck on the tablet but they had a good go.
    The people there are really friendly and it’s a group of kind humans all together.
    Kind of restores your faith in humanity.

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