HUNDREDS of residents own sentimental or valuable items which need repairing.

Unfortunately, not everyone can bag themselves a slot on Jay Blades' primetime TV show, The Repair Shop, but people can find a solution closer to home.

The Repair Café is Southampton’s answer to the popular BBC One programme.

The café was created in 2014 by organisation Transition Southampton with the intention of helping people mend their beloved items or showing them how to do it themselves.

Daily Echo: Catherine Griffiths with her hedge trimmer and repairer Mark HilliardCatherine Griffiths with her hedge trimmer and repairer Mark Hilliard

It is entirely run by volunteers and people are not charged for the repair of their items.

Café organiser Angela Cotton has been with the café since its inception.

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The 65-year-old said: “I found it to be quite an exciting idea as we can fix things instead of throwing them away.

“It’s called The Repair Café because people will come along and have a cup of tea and see what is going on.

Daily Echo: Repair Cafe volunteers. Angela Cotton, front left Repair Cafe volunteers. Angela Cotton, front left

“We want to make it a hub for people as there is a sense of community.

“We see people who are not in a financial position to replace an item and those who can repair or replace it but want to be green.

“The idea of the café is that people sit with the repairers and watch their item being repaired.

“It’s quite interesting to watch how people take things apart and then put it back together again.

“If the skill is something they want to learn and is feasible, people can also learn how to fix it themselves.”

Daily Echo: Southampton Repair Cafe

The Repair Café takes place in different locations across the city.

On the first Saturday of each month (bar January) the café will be at Freemantle Baptist Church and at St Denys Community Centre on the third Saturday of alternate months (November, January, March, May, July and September).

The sessions run from 10.30am to 1pm.

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Angela said: “We are not trying to put the repair shops out of business. We tackle things that are simpler or aren’t expensive. “We have between 15 and 20 repairers and it’s all voluntary. There are some keen amateurs, particularly when it comes to sewing, but there are professionals as well.

Daily Echo: Southampton Repair Cafe

“It’s not just about repairing; it’s about learning repairing skills and being sociable in the community.

“The café was set up to fill a hole in Southampton. There are parts of the city that have no repair shops, so we can offer that.”

To find out more, visit or visit Southampton Repair Café on Facebook.

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