Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any restrictions on what items you will accept?

If you're able to carry it to the venue without assistance, and it's not dangerous or too messy, it's probably OK to bring. These are some things you might want to bring:

  • Small electrical appliances
  • Clothing
  • Jewellery in need of cleaning or repair
  • Children's toys
  • Small pieces of furniture

What happens after I book my item in via the website?

We will email you a few weeks before the event, once we know which repairers are able to attend. You'll be given a timed slot on the day. If we're particularly busy we may not be able to offer a specific time, and you might be given the option to wait for a space.

We might ask for some extra detail about your item to give the allocated repairer the best chance of helping on the day.

Are there any items that cannot be repaired?

There are some items that are either too complex, or that could be hazardous to the repairers that we cannot accept, such as:

  • Mobile phones
  • Anything hazardous
  • Anything too heavy or cumbersome. Contact us beforehand if you are unsure.

Will I get a warranty?

There is no guarantee on the repair. Repairers will not be liable if any item suffers further damage during the attempted repair, does not work properly after you have left the Repair Cafe, or breaks down again in future.

Please read the repair agreement and make sure you are happy with the terms before bringing your item.

We hope to perform a PAT (Portable Appliance Testing) test on all electrical items that are brought along but this does not mean the item will not fail or become unsafe in future.

Do I have to book in advance or can I just turn up on the day?

We operate a booking system to ensure that we have enough repairers to help everyone with their items. You can turn up without an item but we won't be able to guarantee a repairer will be able to look at your item, or when that could be.

However, you're welcome to purchase some refreshments while you wait!

Will I definitely be seen at the start of my timed slot?

We do our best to make sure the repairer is available for your slot but sometimes repairs take longer than expected, so there could be a delay.

You could grab some refreshments whilst you wait.

What should I bring with me?

Please bring any cables that are required to run the item. If it's battery powered, please make sure it is fully charged, or that you have some extra working batteries with you. We are very unlikely to be able to fix your item if it won't turn on.

We have a selection of common items—such as screws, clips, and fuses—in the Repair Cafe toolkit that can be used for the repair. If you item requires something more specialised, your repairer will try to help you identify the part and suggest where you might be able to order a new one. You can then book into a future repair cafe—either in Ely, or another one in the area—to get help fitting it. Alternatively, you might feel confident enough to try a repair on your own!

What happens when I arrive?

Please check in at the reception desk when you arrive. One of our volunteers will get you to complete some quick paperwork.

If your repairer is ready, we'll direct you to their work area. If they're helping someone, you're welcome to wait in the seating area or buy some refreshments.

You will sit with your repairer whilst your item is being repaired. They may have questions about the fault, or need your help with the repair. It's a great opportunity for you to learn more about the repair process so you might be able to perform the repair yourself next time. This is really useful if the problem is something that is likely to happen again.

What should I do if I no longer need a booking?

If your item is fixed, well done!

Please email us to let us know you won't need your booking any longer.

Will there be any food or drink?

Absolutely! We're hoping to provide tea, coffee, and cake for purchase while you wait. Any profits will be used to help run more Repair Cafes in the future.

How much does it cost?

There is no cost. We gladly accept donations so that we can run more Repair Cafes in future. Look out for posters at the venue for details of how to donate. Profit from any purchased refreshments will also help, so please feel free to enjoy those whilst you're waiting!

Can I leave and come back to pick up my repaired item later?

Part of the Repair Cafe ethos is that the repair process should be a collaboration between the repairer and the person with a broken item. It can be a useful learning experience for you. Learning a bit about simple repairs can give you the skills and confidence to fix other items in your home in future.

The repairer may also need information or an extra pair of hands during the repair.

How can I help spread the word?

You're awesome—thanks for your support! We have a Facebook page you can follow and share posts from. You can also download a poster and a Facebook graphic to share.