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Greetings television viewers

BBC1 test pattern

You are probably reading this because you spotted us on the telly. And you probably have a couple of questions:

Who are you?

The Restart Project is a charity, a group of technically-minded amateur repairers who share their skills, helping others learn how to use electronics longer. While our community events are free, the idea is not to offer a free fix, participants in our community events get involved and learn from our volunteers. Most of our volunteers all have day jobs, or study. Some are retired. Here are the Restarters who appeared on The One Show: Faraz (@nanoborg88), Dave (@davelukes), Ben (@luckybenski). Read more about our Restarters, and what motivates them.

How can I get involved?

The first way to get involved is to think like a Restarter! Upgrade at your own speed, and maintain electronics as long as you like. YOU are in control. And remember, electronics can be repaired – and not just by “geniuses”.

If you are in London, you can get involved by coming to our events. If you are outside of London, and would like to host your own Restart Party – see this webpage for more. Or you can check our global map of community repair events to see if you can find one near you.

How do you plan to survive?

We offer some engaging workplace services including pop-ups, team-building, and IT resilience events. We see companies as another great venue to spread the joy of repair. These services support our community outreach. You can also donate to us, every donation helps us keep our community events free, and helps us help others to replicate our model.

Are you trying to undercut professional repairers?

Not at all! We’re friends with professional repairers, and we often end up referring people at our community events to them. We think our role is stimulate demand for honest, competent commercial repair, as well as to highlight the value of waste reduction via repair, and raise questions about how to maintain a health repair economy.

Do you have something to say? Have another question? Please leave us your feedback in the comment thread below!

8 responses

  1. Watching you on The One Show at the moment, just wanted to say the project is a brilliant idea. I too enjoy fixing things and often get called to fix computers, and other random electronic equipment.

    This could inspire other like minded people to form groups and hold similar events.

    Do you provide guidance for people wanting to setup similar groups? Would be really helpful if you did…

    1. janetgunter

      Hi Martin, Absolutely! See our answer to the question “How Do I get involved?” in this post. You read our mind.

  2. sam

    It is a great idea to fix stuff that can be fixed instead of throwing them away. But I am annoyed that all of the repair is done by men – dont see any women involved in fixing anything. That is wrong – you would not have a cooking party where only women are cooking for everybody. I feel that the men are being used – why not find some women who know how to fix stuff as well to get involved. Not surprised to see the person who is organising is a woman. Please stop using men – you would not have an organisation where women are being used – that is prejudice and sexist!!

    1. janetgunter

      Hi Sam, Whoa whoa. Take it easy there. We do have women repairers, but they are either camera shy or not as involved. We have been actively recruiting women since the beginning. I think Faraz, Ben and Dave would take issue with you saying they are “being used”… Deep breath, we’re all allies here, no need to be annoyed.

      Janet, co-founder of The Restart Project, and also A WOMAN!

  3. Alex Gregory

    I have a City & Guilds 224. I was actively discouraged by the Brown Goods Trade in the 90’s as goods became ‘throw away’. Would love to be full time employment in electronics repair

  4. Hi, Good stuff on the one show today. Great idea and such a good way to engage the community into thinking differently about out ‘throw away’ society.

    I work for a major waste and recycling company and wondered if you had approached this industry about offering support and advice to both our municple and commercial customers?

    The key to recycling is re-use and this ethos can save both the planet and the pocket.

    Im thinking out loud about this but if it is something you are interested in discussing further please do let me know.

    All the best,
    Matt

    1. janetgunter

      Hi Matt, Thanks for your suggestion. We see a link to recycling contractors as strategic for the same reasons, but unfortunately in the parts of London we work, we have not sensed this is a possibility. A short-term approach would perceive our activities to be “diverting” materials from recyclers. Meanwhile local authorities are trying to meet WEEE recycling targets. A longer-term approach would recognise that somebody who maintains and repairs a device is MUCH more like to recycle it and dispose of it responsibly. And a repaired device has been diverted from landfill in any case – and whatever happened to the first to Rs (reduce and recycle)? We would love to talk to people in the waste management – and local authorities – who share our vision.

      Best regards,
      Janet, The Restart Project

  5. Some really considered comments, and Martin is not unlike myself, additionally to Alex, if we do it out of love, money is sure to follow. I truly believe that most electronics that fail are repairable with a little knowledge and much patience. Having recently stripped and rebuilt an iPhone 3GS I know it’s not beyond any of us. I’ll continue watching these spaces with much interest to see how I can help others for free as I feel the pursuit of commercial enterprise can often tarnish an initially great idea. Take care all.

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