July 2022

Engineers Paul Bearpark and Tom Poskitt are Repair Café champions. They told us why lending their time and expertise to this cause is worthwhile.

Tom Poskitt electronics engineer at Waterbeach Repair Cafe in Cambridgeshire

What inspired you to get involved?

“As engineers we like to have fun tinkering with things and fixing them in our spare time.  Every day, useful items are being thrown into landfill because it’s cheaper and easier than getting them fixed. As design engineers, we feel we have a responsibility to not only design things that last. We also need to design them so they can be repaired, and not merely discarded.”

According to organisers Cambridge Carbon Footprint, in the UK we have (per capita) the second highest rate of electronic waste in the world. Every replacement television or laptop purchased has the equivalent carbon footprint of a return short haul flight.

“Many people are frustrated by the short lifespan of some products and are keen to make them last longer. But they sometimes struggle to do so if repair shops can’t fix them or it’s not financially viable.”

What does the Repair Café Network aim to do?

“We want to expand access to repair by supporting local communities across Cambridgeshire to set up and run their own Repair Cafés.”

“These events pair skilled volunteer repairers with people who have all sorts of things that need fixing.  Things like phones, laptops, jewellery, clothing, toys, and furniture. Useful items are fixed and connections are made with repairers and attendees valuing the opportunity to connect with others in the local community.”

Paul Bearpark electronics engineer at Waterbeach Repair Cafe in Cambridgeshire

How can folks get involved?

Anyone wishing to volunteer to be a repairer who has expertise and time to spare can get in touch with Cambridge Carbon Footprint who organise the Repair Cafés around Cambridgeshire.

A roster of upcoming Repair Café’s around the whole of Cambridgeshire as well as related events can be found on Cambridge Carbon Footprint’s website: Events – Cambridge Carbon Footprint.

More about 42T’s projects and the range of our team’s expertise.

Waterbeach Repair Cafe advertisement poster for 18 July 2022

Read more about Paul, Tom and the 42T team

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