In a nutshell
Who are you?
Julia Hines, Grange Big Local
What did you do?
Organise a Restart Party – it’s a free community event where volunteers help people fix their own broken devices and small appliances. We did it with the help of our local school, The Archer Academy
We were asked to. The school had done this amazing project and wanted to run it again. It’s about stopping waste and changing our relationship with electronics.
What’s the benefit?
Inter-generational work; students learn skills; community cohesion; people come together; we live in a throw-away society and it’s important that people realise they can fix things.
That no-one would drop by.
Funding and partnerships
The Archer Academy had already run a Restart Party and they wanted to organize a second one, but this time round they wanted to develop the school’s relationships with the local community. They approached us and we came on board.
Their team was made up of: Andry Moustras (Governor), Darren Pearson (Head of Art and Design Technology) and Toby Blume (Governor).
The school has run two Restart parties now – the second one was part of a Sustainability Week. They ran a Big Give fundraising event to raise £2,500 for the Sustainability Week. We gave a small grant which was match-funded.
Restart are great to work with and plenty of helpful information on their website.
They have lots of documents and signs and materials to download. The Restart rough guide outlines that: 1) the event should be free entry (donations possible); 2) they need to promote collaborative learning; 3) at least 3-4 electronics repairers; 4) communicate the Party in advance and share the results after; 5) make sure you are insured – Restart can’t be liable for events it doesn’t organise.
The Restart website therestartproject.org has a brilliant pack with full details and downloads.
The Archer Academy wanted to run their second Restart Party in the community, not at the school, so they could develop our relationships with the community.
They approached Grange Local Big Local because we’re a strong community group working towards regenerating the area. They felt we encompass loads of different groups in the area they couldn’t necessarily reach, including lower income and inter-generational. The Anne Owen Centre, which is run by Age UK, Barnet, is a day centre for old people and was a perfect choice enable inter-generational work.
As well as the venue, Grange Big Local provided the refreshments and a small part of the funding. The school spent money on equipment for the students to use.
The school also organised flyers and posters in the local community, cafes and groups.
Everyone has something which is broken which they leave on a shelf in their house. The problem is, many people turned up having left their broken kit at home. Next time we would hammer this point home more strongly – bring your broken electronics with you!
The school’s biggest desire was to build off the experiences of our students, and it was also to create a really good strong relationship with Grange Big Local. So it was about social cohesion.
In terms of the older adults, if they hadn’t brought something they sat on chairs around the edge of the room. Next time we would arrange more seating around the 4 or 5 tables with work going on, so people who hadn’t brought broken items could watch and be part of the action more easily.
The school also said that next time it would be good to invite some local businesses to do some of the repairs as well as the Restart experts.
People turned up and there were lots of broken items for the students to work on and rejuvenate.
There were some really positive responses which we hadn’t anticipated. We hadn’t anticipated how many people would be interested in this, so that was really nice as people engaged with the school and the project. It raised the profile of the Restart parties and people wanted to know when the next one was. Restart don’t focus on one-off projects, rather they look for a commitment to hold events on a regular basis.
It went very well. We spoke to students who had worked on fairy lights and had soldered them and it was really good. They mended a whole range of items.
The venue is not on the main drag, not on the High Street. People did drop in, but it did cross our mind we could have done something a bit more on the High Street because people could just pop in and it’s be a bit more visible.
Restart were brilliant to work with.