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42T engineers organise and volunteer at local St. Ives Repair Café

42T engineers organise and volunteer at local St. Ives Repair Café

February 2023

42T engineers Paul Bearpark, Tom Poskitt and Kufirre Ebong are Repair Café enthusiasts!

In fact, Tom organised our local Repair Café in St. Ives on Sat, 18 Feb and took all the repair bookings while head of department, Paul and colleague Kufirre also volunteered their time and expertise doing some repairs.

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42T colleagues Tom Poskitt (foreground) & Kufirre Ebong (background) get down to repairing items.
Picture credit: Dr Louise Walsh

What is the Repair Café network?

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 between repairers and attendees.

What inspired them to get involved?

Paul says, “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.”

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Kufirre repairs the electronics on some everyday household items, saving them from landfill.   Picture: Paul Bearpark

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.

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The St. Ives Repair Café held on Saturday, 18 Feb 2023       Picture credit: Dr Louise Walsh

Paul adds, “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.”

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 Cafés and other sustainability events held throughout Cambridgeshire can be found on Cambridge Carbon Footprint’s website: Events – Cambridge Carbon Footprint.

Read more about 42T’s projects and about Paul, Kufi and Tom's expertise.

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42T's Head of Electronics & Software, Paul Bearpark, hard at work

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