One-off "Repair Café" events - insurance / liabilities?

One of the kick-off events I’m planning for the BDMakerspace campaign is a regular local Repair Café.

The event will not only bring the usual benefits for fixsters and their “customers” but also act as a good platform to promote the Makerspace campaign and get in front of locals who might not have seen all our social media activities (and it would make some great PR in the local press).

We’ve got a couple of potential locations on board - a local library, and / or a local charitable organisation’s meeting rooms - both in central, easily accessibly locations and both engaged with local community groups who have all expressed an interest.

My only concern is about liabilities and insurance, as nobody wants the sort of negative exposure either BDMakerspace or our community “host” would get from a broken chair, exploding vacuum cleaner or any other minor disaster.

So, how does a fledgling campaign, not quite organised enough to form an official CIC, ensure their liabilities are covered in this case? Do we even need separate cover? Would it fall under the insurance already in place with the hosts?

As ever, your advice and experience is much appreciated!

Thanks again,


Hi Simon!

I’d say be diligent which you will be.

I can suggest getting a one off insurance as suggested here:

As per insurance I’d say ask Export&General.

I’ve spoken to them in the past and are reasonable.

And if you can, get a first aider or two.

Cheers - we’re not in a situation where we can go for the full E&G suite, yet (we have NO money, and I can’t afford to cover it!) but I will drop them a line to get an opinion.

I will check with the venues to see what they think as regards their own insurances.

I meant contact E&G for a single event. have been organising “Repair Cafe” events in London.

Give them a shout.

They’re a friendly bunch, and, some of them joined the London Hackspace to use the tools that we share.

We host a Repair Cafe at the Surrey and Hampshire MakerSpace venue in conjunction with the local council who organises the event. Perhaps your local council might be interested in collaboration.

You might be interested in the house rules for the event here.

The good news is we managed to raise (almost!) enough in donations to cover a basic annual £2m PL policy via Export & General, so we’ll be going with that… and running our first Repair Café!

If anyone’s interested and fancies tagging along: It’s on November 25th in Droitwich Spa, 10am - 4pm.

We have no idea how popular it will be, but our hosts aren’t charging us for the venue, so we won’t be out of pocket.

It’s our first real public event, so wish us luck! We hope to have about half-a-dozen volunteers of various technical abilities, and it’s the same day as Droitwich switched on the Xmas Lights, so it might be busy…

FB event details here:

Drop me a line on if fancy turning up, or you’ve got any ideas where I can get free samples of tape, glue, screws, fuses, solder, batteries etc. - local hardware stores aren’t playing ball even with my usual charm offensive :wink: