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Restart Podcast Ep. 92: Taking repair on the road

The Repair Cafe Mobile

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We’re going on a repair road trip this month as we talk to Simon Frémineur and Jinny Uppington about their respective mobile repair initiatives. Travelling repair cafes are a popular idea in our community, with quite a few iterations popping up across the UK and abroad. We speak to our guests about the benefits of a mobile unit, including being able to reach communities who cannot access repair as easily.

The Repair Café Mobile takes Wallonia

Simon talks us through the origins of the Repair Café Mobile and the excitement that has surrounded it ever since he first pitched it to Repair Together back in 2017. What started as an idea for his final thesis project is now a popular mobile repair site that we loved seeing in person at Fixfest 2022. He talks us through the four stations of the trailer and how he adapted it to best replicate community repair events – which he’s now been able to take to around 100 events across Wallonia.

The trailer boasts a whole range of equipment including tools, spare parts, and even a 3D printer! He also tells us about the ways he is considering expanding and altering the trailer such as, a bicycle version for use in more built-up urban areas.

Reaching rural communities with the Fixy Bus

Next, we speak to Jinny Uppington, Fixy Lead at Resource Futures. The Fixy van has been travelling all over Somerset to reach those in more rural areas and spread the word of community repair. Jinny tells us about the overwhelming popularity of the Fixy van, with its recognisable graffiti exterior that regularly gets spotted when out and about.

Not only are they amplifying repair, Jinny tells us about the work that Resource Futures have been doing with Donate IT to tackle digital exclusion. Their tech amnesty initiatives have helped many residents in need, with the over 1,500 devices donated! She stresses the importance of partnerships for this project and it sounds like they have formed a thriving repair ecosystem in Somerset.

The Fixy van in Yeovil


[Feature image courtesy of Repair Together; Diagrams courtesy of Simon Frémineur; Le Repair Café Mobile by Repair Together / Simon Frémineur is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0]

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