TTW Repair Café
TTW Repair Café
(The TTW Repair Café offers a fantastic monthly repair service for your broken and worn out domestic items. It is run by volunteers who have given up their free time to help you with your repair, and all we ask for is a donation to cover running costs.
Come and join us to learn how to repair and mend, save money and be part of a community sharing valuable knowledge and skills. Help us with our aim to move Worthing towards being a zero-waste town by preventing your household items from ending up in landfill.
TTW Repair Café usually runs on the last Saturday of each month (apart from Dec) at Friends/Quaker Meeting House, 34 Mill Rd, Worthing, BN11 5DR. 10am – 4pm.
Refill, Renew, Refresh & Repair
At the TTW Repair Café our talented team of volunteers can help you to repair your clothes, toys, bicycles, laptops, computers, small household electrical/electronic items, small items of furniture, costume jewellery and restringing necklaces and knife/scissor sharpening.
We also offer PAT testing.
Please use our online booking form if you would like bring something to repair. This will ensure the right repairer is available to help, and to avoid queuing.
TTW Repair Café usually runs on the last Saturday of each month (apart from Dec) but the date and types of repairs we can do at each event may vary.
If you would like to bring something to repair or remake, request a repair slot below on one of these dates: 24th Feb, 30th March, 27th April, 25th May, 29th June, 27th July, 31st Aug, 28th Sept, 26th Oct, 30th Nov
Please only book in one item per time slot.
This very popular service is now often fully booked each month so you may have to wait until the following month. We also operate a waiting list for cancellations. If you can't get a slot with us and need an urgent repair, you could try one of the other Repair Cafes in West Sussex.
REPAIRS MUST BE REQUESTED ONLINE NO LATER THAN MIDDAY ON THE WEDNESDAY BEFORE THE EVENT, in order to give us time to organise tools, match repairers with time slots on the day, and offer any cancellations to those on the waiting list.
House Rules – every customer needs to read these before coming along please.
Once we have received your request, we shall be in touch to confirm your booking via email.
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Please note that due to issues regarding space and health and safety, no dogs are allowed and all children must be closely supervised. There is no on-site parking, but there is plenty of free parking on nearby roads. For those who aren’t coming by car, the 700 bus stops nearby, West Worthing station is about 10 minutes walk and there’s a safe place to put bikes at the back of the venue.
Our Repair Cafe is a pop-up event so we have to bring along all the tools etc needed, therefore we can only repair portable items that don't require specialist or heavy duty equipment.
Repairs are by donation, to cover the cost of materials and other expenses.
Cash donation boxes are available at each session, or alternatively donations can be made online.
There will be refreshments available to buy including, tea, coffee and fruit juice along with lots of homemade cake!
One of our repairers, Matt Marchant, wrote an article that we shared with a local magazine.
This led to Matt then being invited to write a monthly column about repairing stuff.
I think I got the fixing bug from my dad. When I was a kid, if something wasn’t working, he’d take it apart and try to work out what was wrong, regardless of any qualification seemingly needed to do so. I guess that approach, stuck.
It’s completely rational, when you think about it. Take a broken vacuum cleaner for example. You might have spent over £200 on it when new and worry that you might ‘damage’ it further by trying to repair it yourself but here’s the reality; with the right approach, you’ll probably end up with a working machine again and acquired knowledge that will help you again, for the next time.
If you don’t get it working, so what, it wasn’t working anyway. Think what might happen to that poor machine, with only a small, minor fault, if you don’t step in to help it? Plus, if you don’t help, it’s only going one way.
Overcoming the fear.
It’s totally rational to be concerned about sharp items, delicate materials and electricity. Mishandling and a lack of respect for mains power, kills.
But don’t let that put you off. It’s all about taking precautions. Wear protective clothing and eyewear, take your time and disconnect any powered items before you start work, it’s that simple. From then on, it’s all about taking a few notes, a few pictures on your phone and maybe a little time on YouTube, for advice from others. With the basics in place, you’re on your way to being empowered over the item that’s about to receive your handy work.
A word to the wise. I’ve worked on thousands of items over the years, often with no exact knowledge of the item I’m about to start work on. I enjoy it and get a kick out of bringing something back to ‘life’. YouTube and Google searches save time and can provide extremely useful insights in to common issues affecting well, just about anything. I use it all the time.
As with any diagnosis, symptoms may be common to many faults, so don’t think that the first video you come across with a seemingly similar problem to yours, will show you how to solve your problem. Don’t be tempted into a snap-diagnosis. I don’t like ordering parts for something, I just don’t need. Plus, anyone can upload a how-to video on YouTube. Here are five tips on becoming a make do and mend repair legend:
Arm yourself with basic tools – things every home should have
Basic screw driver set, small cutters, electrical tape, super glue, cable ties, small self-tapping screws, small pliers, small spanner (set size 7-15mm).
This kit does not need to be premium stuff as it won’t be used every day, so don’t spend any more than £30, if starting out today. This list is just based on my own thoughts and totally non-exhaustive.
- Read up on basic electricity handling
You don’t need to attend a two-year course to work on a toaster, although I’m sure toaster technicians do.
Read up on mains power, how to isolate equipment, what components can cause harm if touched and take your time.
- Be prepared to fail
You will mess things up, make things go bang and sometimes spend money on something which still doesn’t work but hey, it didn’t work anyway, so chill out.
By investigating a fault yourself, you will have gained knowledge and become empowered, which will help in future, although it might not feel like it at the time. That’s life.
- Ask around
There’s no such thing as an expert.
Slightly controversial, but bear with me. Expertise is gained though study and experience, which takes time. Expertise is usually specific to a particular field and this is why we take a car to a garage and not a plumber. However, there are common principles between the two fields, which can be applied to both cars and boilers and that’s the point. You’re never going to be able to have the knowledge to fix anything, that’s unlikely.
But the skills you learn in the repair of say, a food mixer, may well be applicable to a washing machine, both having motors, belts and control systems. If you’re struggling with something, ask around, someone will know.
- Make repair a social event
Have that broken record player out on the table alongside your screwdriver set, ready for when your friends come over.
Two brains are better than one as they say and who wants to talk about Saturday’s Strictly Come Dancing results anyway? This way you can have fun and gain a sense of achievement together. The same works well with kids, but remember to disconnect from the mains first of course.
The most important thing to remember is this: You bought it, it’s yours, you own it and don’t listen to anyone who says it can’t be fixed.