Repair Café Conference

9th June 2023
University for the Creative Arts

Organised by The Centre for Sustainable Design (®) at the University for the Creative Arts in partnership with Repair Cafe Wales

Webinar Video Recording


The 1st Repair Café was established in 2009 in the Netherlands as grassroots, community-led workshop aimed at extending the life of products. Since then, the number of repair cafes has expanded significantly. The Repair Cafe Foundation (RCF) highlights over 2600 Repair Cafes in the world, but there are many that are not registered on RCF site. For example, in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales there are now estimated to be over 250 Repair Cafes with many new initiatives launching weekly. The pandemic curtailed a lot of activity, with some repair cafes halting activities and others adapting to CV19 and continuing to operate within the guidelines. With the ‘Right to Repair’ becoming a policy issue in Europe, US and UK, there are implications for repair cafes. Significant repair rates are being achieved by repair cafes: a global study in 2016 indicated that repairers had achieved an average 63% repair rate. In addition, to the environmental benefits, Repair Cafes are reinforcing the importance of social and community dimensions. As the concept of Circular Economy evolves, Repair Cafes are playing an increasingly important role at a local level.

This will be the 2nd UK Repair Café conference. The 1st was held in March 2020 the week before lockdown with over 80 repair cafes attending from throughout UK.

Target audience

The conference is focused on practical issues being faced by Repair Cafes and is targeted at trustees, managers, repairers and other volunteers; and will be suitable for those that are in start-up or more experienced Repair Cafes. 

Event objectives

To highlight practical issues associated with running Repair Cafes including lessons learnt and best practice examples. In addition, the event will provide excellent networking opportunities for existing Repair Cafes or those that are considering setting up a Repair Cafe.


The conference is co-chaired by:

Professor Martin Charter, Director and Chair, Board of Trustees, Farnham Repair CaféThe Centre for Sustainable Design (®)Business School for the Creative IndustriesUniversity for the Creative Arts (UCA)

Phoebe Brown, Director, Repair Café Wales

10.00  Registration

10.30  Welcome

Professor Martin Charter, Director, The Centre for Sustainable Design ®, UCA and Chair, Board of Trustees, Farnham Repair Café

Phoebe Brown, Director, Repair Café Wales

Professor Mark Ellul, Chief Operating Officer, UCA

Alan Earwaker, Mayor of Farnham

10.45  Strategic Overview

Professor Martin Charter, Director, The Centre for Sustainable Design ®, UCA and Chair, Board of Trustees, Farnham Repair Café

11.00  Repair Cafes in the UK

Phoebe Brown, Director, Repair Café Wales

11.15  ‘Right to Repair’: Policy Update

Chris Robertson, Head of Product Regulatory Compliance, RINA


11.45 Repair Cafés: Development, Management and Organisation

Martin Davies, Volunteer, Lover Repair CafeCase Study

Sandy SkeltonCambridgeshire Repair Cafe NetworkCase Study

Alex Rocha, Co-founder and Volunteer, Sutton Repair CafeCase Study

Panel discussion

12.45  Lunch and Networking

13.45  Roundtable Introduction: Key Issues and Product Repair

13.55  Roundtable #1: Key issues

A series of seven roundtables will be organised to discuss key issues being faced by Repair Cafes.

Discussion followed by short presentations by table hosts

15.10 Networking 

15.35  Roundtable #2: Product Repair

A series of seven roundtables will be organised to discuss product repairs experiences. Each roundtable will have a table host/facilitator and notetaker, and each participant will be able to join three discussions.

Group discussions followed by short presentations and Q&A

16.50  Summing up and next actions

17.00  Close

* To be confirmed

** The programme may be subject to change


The event is free of charge but please email your name, position and Repair Cafe to Ros on More information is also attached here on travelling to the event and Farnham

Further information

For more information contact:
Ros Carruthers
The Centre for Sustainable Design ®
Business School for the Creative Industries
+44 (0) 1252 892772


Funding received from Research England QR Strategic Priorities Fund. Research England is part of UK Research and Innovation, a public body funded by the UK government. For more information visit or