The Phone Repair Shop That Fixes Far More Than Just Phones

Cracked It trains at-risk youth to become the next generation's phone repair entrepreneurs

Apr 13, 2017
Fixing a smartphone is an encouraging achievement that is as rewarding to the teens as it is to the broken device's owner. (Shutterstock)

Fixing a smartphone is an encouraging achievement that is as rewarding to the teens as it is to the broken device's owner. (Shutterstock)

Cracked It fixes much more than just mobile phones - it also fixes lives. This may sound a bit overly dramatic, but it's true - and not in the way you think. Modern technology is so all-encompassing that most people who shatter their iPhone's instantly feel like they've lost their lifeline.

In fact, 29% of smart phone users have a damaged phone, and three-quarters of them don't repair it for half a year or more due to the sheer inconvenience they would experience by parting with their device for a day or two. London-based Cracked It didn't initially get started to fix phones, it got started as an enterprise to train at-risk youth in a trade that would "fix" their lives and re-route them from a life of crime or worse.

The training program is built on an asset-based approach, looking at the potential skills of the 16-24 year olds and harnessing their skills to help them generate positive self-worth, a well-earned income and a sense of belonging - all elements of gang membership that are instead flipped upside down to produce positive outlets with real-world pay offs.

Since instant gratification appeals to a lot of these kids, fixing a smartphone is an encouraging achievement that is as rewarding to them as it is to the broken device's owner. Cracked It runs a repair clinic at East London's Spitalfields Market every Friday, fixing phones in 90 minutes or less. They also run day-long surgeries in workplaces for those who sign up and reserve time slots in advance.

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ELIANNA BAR-EL, CONTRIBUTOR
Elianna has a background in English literature and psychology and works as an editor and freelance wardrobe stylist. She writes on travel, fashion, food and inspiring people.

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