Our Share and Repair Network Coordinator Jane visited the world renowned Fixfest in Cardiff in September to represent our work with the UK repair community.
Every year, Fixfest brings together representatives of the repair movement from across the UK to network, with a chance to lead and join workshops, talks and hands-on sessions to ‘help make repair the norm’.
This year, Fixfest’s focus was on how to ‘further expand repair into communities and (re)normalise it nationwide’, with delegates from community repair groups, universities, business, public bodies and waste agencies attending. Sessions ranged from detailed stories of local projects to plans for national collective campaigning, in particular the new UK Repair and Reuse Declaration which will be launched on International Repair Day on 21st October.
Part of the Scottish contingent at Fixfest.
Scotland’s Share and Repair Network Coordinator Jane Dixon presented Circular Communities Scotland’s research ‘Understanding the thoughts and feelings of consumers around Scotland on share and repair community projects‘ within a panel event on normalising repair.
Share and Repair network partner Elaine Brown from the Edinburgh Remakery also attended. Elaine stated:
“What a fantastic weekend of celebrating all things Repair and Reuse! Whilst most organisations were from Wales and England, Scotland was represented by 5 organisations and the photo shows a few of us at the start of the Saturday morning Conference.
I had the pleasure of being on the panel for the lively session on Dedicated Repair Spaces. It appears that many of us face the same challenge of finding affordable and permanent spaces for our repair cafes. Whilst we discussed the many challenges it was also fascinating and heartening to see how much activity goes on in each repair café and the huge potential to do more.”
Photo credits: Mark A Phillips
Network member James Bajgar, Musical Hub Manager from Music Broth travelled to Fixfest from Glasgow and shares his reflections on the event below:
“This is a first time for me at Fixfest and found it encouraging to be around so many positive people looking for solutions and advocating for change.
I was there both for my own interests, but also as someone having to find solutions for repair across our whole host of instruments, PA, amps, keyboards at Music Broth.
In a society that has fast lost large amounts of the skills required to do these tasks, we now look to also step into doing the skill training internally. I was pleased to see others had gone down this route too with success giving skills to young people while also helping their circular cause.
The sessions throughout the day provided lots of new ways of tackling these challenges were presented throughout. From packaged repair kits to groups running workshops, to those working with bringing repair skills to new people. Especially encouraging as I will be doing more of that at Music Broth in time.
The morning having very practical and organisational based focus while the afternoon’s final focus was on how to face the political challenges on how to make repair become the norm. Of course with International Repair Day on October the 21st, it is a key chance to highlight these challenges and what people can do in a challenge to be more circular in our lives.
Fixfest provided lots of ideas, with friendly, passionate people. Including a magnetic solution to one recurring problem I’ve come across so good, I wish I thought of it.”
For further reports about the day, including detailed notes of each session and further videos check out The Restart Project’s blog.
The Share and Repair Network would like to extend thanks to the organisers The Restart Project and Repair Cafe Wales.