Virtual Repair Café

Organized by Bolton (MA) Repair Cafeé and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, with help from Bolton Local and sustainability-minded people from Maynard, Massachusetts.
  • When:
  • Where: via Zoom
  • Contact Name:

    Because of the current restrictions, we have decided to hold a virtual Repair Café instead of the normal in-person Repair Cafés that we have been holding for many years. It will be held on Saturday, June 20 from 12 noon until 2 pm using Zoom. It will be sponsored by the Rotary Club of Nashoba Valley, with help from Bolton Local, and we are also partnering with some sustainability-minded people from Maynard.


    Things will be different because the event will be virtual. The fixers will not be able to handle or work directly on the broken items. The guests with items to fix will have to have all the tools they need and the replacement parts, if they know what parts are needed. They will have the option of either trying to fix the broken item with remote help from the volunteer fixers, or just getting advice. If they are just getting advice, they still may need a few tools (screwdrivers or other tools to remove the fasteners on the cover). The guests, the volunteer fixers, and the observers can be located anywhere in the world. This will truly be an international event.


    Please also note that the start time will be 12 noon EDT, later than the normal 9 am EDT to allow people on the US west coast to take part. Plus the session will only be open for about 2 hours.


    This is a chance for you to join us at our event. You can help with fixes or just observe. It is also a chance to meet other fixers and to develop friendships with likeminded people.


    With this Zoom virtual format, we will only be able to take a limited number of guests with items to fix. Therefore, we are asking people with items to fix to register ahead of time. In virtual repair events which have been held over the past month or so, they have found that only 10 – 15 guests get help in a 2 hour session. We are hoping to improve on that by moving the guests quickly to different Zoom breakout rooms to work on the fixes. But even so, we won’t be able to work with that many guests. We are telling people to sign up early to have a better chance of getting time at our event.


    This is a chance for some of us who only work at our own local repair events to work together. We will definitely need some wonderful fixers at the event. But we will also have fixers from all around the world. So, we may need to limit the number of fixers. We will also need some people to help with running the event by doing things like monitoring the chat session, making sure people are muted, overseeing a break out room session, etc. Please consider offering to help with running the event. In that role you can also offer fixing suggestions or you can just observe the fixes. Everyone is welcome as an observer. We will decide how many people will be able to work as fixers, as helpers with running of the event, and as observers once we see how many other fixers sign up.


    We are also asking fixers and observers to sign up ahead of time so we can manage what people will be doing. This is our first time doing a virtual event. We have been in touch with a few other people who have run a virtual repair event recently. We are learning from them. But to some extent this will be an experiment and we may have to adjust on the fly at the event. So please indicate your preference, fixer or observer, when you sign up, and also specify under the additional notes question if you are willing to help with running the event.


    We also will probably have at least one practice session with Zoom a week or so before the event to work on what roles people will take in running the event and to work out some of the kinks. Stay tuned.


    Here is the link to sign up as a fixer or as an observer or as a helper running the event. We may ask some you to help out in a different area from what you register for if there is a need.



    Here is the link to sign up to show an item. As we do with the in-person Repair Cafés, you as a volunteer can also bring items to fix. But we will give priority to outside guests. But you may be able to show your item at the practice session.