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Farnham Repair Café

Farnham Repair Café Events: 60
10am – 12:30pm Visitors to FRC: 3022
Postponed (New Link) Repairs completed: 1320
Farnham The Spire Church Repair rate: 66%
South Street CO2 reduction: 35.5 tonnes
Farnham Landfill diversion: 3.8 tonnes
Surrey Satisfaction: 98%
GU9 7QU Citizen savings: £105,582

Farnham Repair Café 

The objects of Farnham Repair Cafe are:
To protect and safeguard the environment for the public benefit through the promotion of repair and re-use of products as a means of preventing and minimising waste disposal.

Farnham Repair Café is a collaborative project between The Centre for Sustainable Design® at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham Town Council and The Spire Church.

Farnham Repair Café is a part of the global repair café movement led by Repair Café International Foundation.

Farnham Repair Café is a Registered Charity Number 1172613

What is a Repair Café?

“Repair Cafés are free ‘community-centred workshops’ for people to bring consumer products in need of repair, where they can work together with volunteer fixers to repair and maintain their broken or faulty products. In addition to repair, many Repair Cafés provide assistance with product modification, particularly to clothing to improve fit and appearance.” Charter & Keiller, 2016

What product owners (visitors) say about Farnham Repair Cafe

“There is a wealth of experience, knowledge and goodwill in the team, and patience in dealing with the variety of issues brought in!”
“How wonderful to have something repaired, and to not need to buy a new hairdryer. Very grateful.”
“Everyone is so helpful and in good spirits. Excellent to the helpers/the repair person doing all this for free. Well done!”
“What brilliant, supportive people live in our community! How to check to see if hoover belt is broken. Thank you so much.”
“Don’t throw anything away as it may be repaired – quickly too at the Café.”
“How skilful repairers are, how confident, how generous with time and expertise.”
“10/10 for dogged persistence to repair a tricky fault in my iron. Thank you! Keep up the good work.”

Click here to download more positive experiences of Farnham Repair Case

YouTube Channel

Farnham Repair Café is a community workshop focused on the repair of a diverse range of everyday household products. Repair extends the life span, usefulness and importantly reduces our impact on natural resources, thereby making a contribution to longer term sustainability. Farnham Repair Café YouTube Channel aims to help share knowledge and experience in the repairing of products.

Repair Café Wiki

The Repair Café Wiki is an online repair community resource, initiated by volunteers at Farnham Repair Café (UK) with the support of The Repair Café International Foundation, to help promote the sharing of knowledge and experience in the repairing of a diverse range of everyday household products both new and old.

Farnham Repair Café in the media

FRC on Facebook

FRC hits Brazilian TV

Farnham Repair Café features on BBC Radio 4 ‘Saturday Live

FRC aired on BBC Surrey local radio

The New DIY: Repair Cafés

How Farnham UK’s Repair Café Takes a Bite Out of Waste

A Repair Café Comes to Farnham, Surrey, UK

Nature online features Farnham Repair Café

Sounds of a Repair Café performed at Space Gather Make @ Art:Work at Tate Modern (October 2017)

Farnham Repair Café: Research

Survey of visitors & volunteers (2016)

UK Repair Cafés impact on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (2019)

Farnham Repair Café: Case Studies

Japanese Doll

Vacuum Cleaner

Carousel Projector

What a Repair Café offers to Farnham

The Farnham Repair Café (FRC) offers a monthly ‘Place and Space’ for Farnham’s citizens to come and get products fixed and to “share in the repair”. To date a variety of products have been fixed at repair stations covering electrical/electronics, mechanical, bicycles and clothing/apparel. This has included specific repairs to vacuum cleaners, head phones, lights, hats, jackets, bags, baby strollers and bicycles. The launch of FRC builds on original research and a conference that The Centre for Sustainable Design ® organised on global Repair Café and Hackerspace movement.

FRC is not just about repairs, there is also scope for creativity. Broken consumer products can be brought to the “creative zone”. As part of the creative process, FRC encourage town residents and students to experiment and explore new ideas around up-cycling of products – re-assembling product parts for a new intended purpose or for an improved function.

FRC also offers a place to socialise and network, and fits well into Farnham’s identity as a crafts town. It offers a space to “re-craft” products and provides an opportunity to practice haptic (hand-to-head) skills and creatively complete technical fixes to broken gadgets, alongside experimenting with new ideas from waste.

Who benefits?

Product owners visiting FRC either get their broken products repaired or are given advice on how to repair or recycle it. Volunteer repairers value the opportunity of sharing their knowledge and skills with local townspeople. Central to FRC is the “Share the Repair” philosophy that encourages all product owners to participate in the repair process and learn how to do repairs themselves. A successful repair should increase the useful lifetime of their product and therefore divert waste from landfill. If the repair is beyond the capability or capacity of the Repair Café, product owners will receive advice on how and where their product may be repaired or recycled. The aim is for the product owners to come away with a greater understanding of how their product works and why repairing is a better solution than recycling or binning it!

FRC also aims to cooperate with local repair businesses by acting as a supportive hub offering access to those local repair businesses and encouraging them to get involved directly as volunteers in the Repair Café  to help promote their business. It is hoped that FRC will become a catalyst for a more efficient and robust repair ecosystem in the town by providing a useful intervention in the waste stream that presently does not exist.

How does it work?

Product owners bring their broken products to the FRC and then explain the problem to volunteer repairers. Then the product owners are directed to appropriate repair stations where diagnosis is undertaken, advice is given and repairs are completed where feasible. FRC operates every second Saturday of the month from 10.00am to 1pm. It is hoped that regular monthly activity establishes a familiar pattern for visitors perhaps linked to a Saturday morning shop or visit to the town.


Download map


The event is free and registration is not required. Visitors can bring in up to three products per Repair Café but can only book one product at a time. If an item is larger than hand luggage or unusual please email rcarruthers@uca.ac.uk to assess the feasibility of repair

If you have any queries, please email Ros on rcarruthers@uca.ac.uk

Ros Carruthers
The Centre for Sustainable Design ®
University for the Creative Arts,
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 892772
Email: rcarruthers@uca.ac.uk

Social networking

Use the social networking share buttons at the top to tell your colleagues and networks about the opportunity. If you’re tweeting you may want to copy in the following: @mcharter1 @CfSD_UCA