Any household item that you can carry that is broken! Due to time restrictions, it’s a good idea to have one item per person so if you have lots of broken things bring a matching number of friends.
Here are some suggestions:
An item you bring might not even be broken; perhaps it is dirty and you don’t know how to clean it without damaging it, or you can’t work out how to use it without the manual. Someone will be able to help. Repair Cafes local to Ballarat reported a 71% repair success rate in 2018.
Please only bring one item per person so everyone gets a chance to have their items looked at.
Also note volunteers may not be able to complete complex fixes that require parts or tools that are not available on site. If you know your item needs a part, bring that along.
On arrival at the ground floor entrance, you will be asked to complete a registration form for your item. It is important you read and understand the House Rules and sign the disclaimer. The Repair Cafe reserves the right to refuse any item if it is unsafe and cannot take responsibility for any item once it has left the premises.
We will then show you up to the cafe on level two where we have coffee, tea and delicious baked goods while you wait for a volunteer repairer to become available. You will be matched with a volunteer repairer who will examine the item, diagnose the problem and offer advice before proceeding with the repair. You can work with our volunteer fixers to do the repair yourself with their guidance or have them tackle the job directly and see how it is done.
In the case of any item being beyond repair, the repairer will discuss the options which may include guidance on its safe disposal. The exchange of a good story with your repairer is always welcome!
With luck, you will walk away with a once-again useful item, some knowledge of how to repair and greater confidence to do it.
The event may get busy and you may have to wait a bit. You can have a coffee, tea, delicious baked goods and a look around – it is interesting seeing other people’s items being fixed. We try and keep waiting times to a minimum but the ‘cafe’ aspect also provides the opportunity to sit, chat and meet others in your community.
Registration of new repairs will be stopped at 3.30pm so the session can finish at 4pm.
Repair Cafe events will be held on the last Saturday of the month from 1pm to 4pm at the Ballarat Tech School (136 Albert Street, Ballarat Central).
It is not a requirement to book in advance but we do recommend you contact us if you are planning to bring an item for repair that may require materials, parts or unusual tools. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or register through Eventbrite.
All repairs at Repair Cafe Ballarat are completed by volunteer fixers free of charge. If parts or materials is required, you will need to source them yourself but we will have basic repair supplies.
However, we do ask for donations to help cover other expenses, like glue and running this website! There will be a jar at each Repair Cafe event for donations. Baked goods, coffee and tea will also be available for a donation.
Fixing an item may require a replacement part. It is recommended you purchase the part before bringing it in to the Repair Cafe if you know what part is needed.
If you think you might need a part but are not sure what, try to come to the Repair Cafe early in the session so you have time to get what you need and come back. Otherwise, you are welcome to return to the next month, or take your part and broken thing to a Repair Cafe in another area in the meantime.
Volunteer fixers are asked to bring their own tools. Repair Cafe Ballarat plans to stock basic consumables such as glue and tape and slowly build up the commonly used tools.
Regrettably, no. We don’t have any storage space to keep spare parts, but feel free to talk with our volunteers.
Broken items can not be left at the event. If you bring an item, you must take it from the event whether it is able to be fixed or not. There are many options for disposal of items, including harvesting for components, re-purposing, recycling, upcycling or re-using. Be sure to dispose of any items with a plug, cord, or battery correctly. There is an e-waste drop-off point at the Ballarat Transfer Station where it will be recycled.
Here are some other organisations where you can drop off broken items:
Children are welcome at the Repair Cafe. It is a fantastic opportunity to pass repair skills on to the younger generation. We ask if they are under 16 they must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.