How can we stay engaged during lockdown?
Bower Reuse and Repair Centres has been exploring new online avenues of educating and engaging with the community, and the current COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social isolation measures has accelerated the launch of a series of new online services.
“Whilst developing a new website to reach out to a larger audience, Bower was rethinking what reuse and repair engagement can look like” says Guido Verbist General Manager of Bower.
While our many hands-on furniture workshops and Repair Cafés are unable to operate during the COVID-19 lockdown, thanks to the JobKeeper program we have been able to fast-track the creation of entirely new online projects and improvement of existing programs without losing the capacity to provide the same level of service.
We are actively producing ongoing short instructional videos and holding weekly live sessions where you can ask questions directly to our staff. We are also still doing repair and bespoke work in our furniture and electrical workshops, but while we know many people don’t feel safe coming out in person, we are also pushing to provide 15 minute online consultation in both our electrical and woodworking departments to help inform and advise.
To start with, here’s what we’re working on:
We are working with filmmaker and producer Dan Stevenson to create short clips about what we do in our workshops and what you can maybe do at home. These consist of engaging how to videos, educational clips, and explorations of who we are and what we get up to in our workshops.
The goal is to put one new video out every week on a different topic. So feel free to give us suggestions on what you would love to know.
We used to run these repair café sessions every week on Saturdays in our woodworking and electrical departments. We hope to again as soon as it is safe to do so, but for now we are taking our teams, sticking them in front of a camera, and answering your questions in Facebook Live sessions every Saturday from 11am-12pm.
Each session will have a theme. The first session is with the woodworking department on the ninth of May and will be covering the basic tool kit one can have to get started in repairs. Questions will be taken both live and in advance. So please watch and get engaged with our teams as we try to help answer your questions.
VIDEO CONSULTATIONS AND GUIDANCE
While a live video everyone can watch is great, sometimes you need more one on one advice. We are in the works developing just that.
Members of our team will be available twice a week for pre-booked 15minute sessions to talk with you about your repair needs. As with our repair cafés, we cannot guarantee a repair, and there are certain things that it might not be safe for you to do at home, but if nothing else we can help you understand what the problems are, and what your next steps might be.
That’s enough to get us started, but there’s no reason we can’t do more. If you have any suggestions for other ways to help you out or answer your questions, let us know! Maybe we could do small group sessions, or guided workshops. There is so much potential, and we are excited to be able to do what we can!