You might have heard about The Repair Shop on BBC, but the Southampton Repair Café is proving to be the number one destination for locals to give their prized possessions a makeover.

Inspired by a trip to the Malvern Repair Café in 2013, the Southampton Repair Café was established a year later by two of its founding members in 2014 - following a craze which began in the Netherlands five years earlier.

Now 50 members strong, and hosting two drop-in sessions a month across four varying locations across the city, the café's mission statement is to fix things that would otherwise be thrown away, helping the environment in the process.

Angela Cotton, 66, runs the Southampton Repair Café and has been involved in its journey since its inception.

Daily Echo:

She told the Echo: “It’s slowly grown in numbers. We used to operate exclusively out of St Denys but now we have four sites across Southampton – Freemantle Baptist Church, St James by the Park Parish Hall, St Denys Community Centre, and Immaculate Conception Church Hall.

“We’re really trying to get the word out; in under 10 years we’ve had approximately 2,000 people walk through our doors – and we estimate we’ve about 3,000 items brought to us, which we’ve repaired with a 70 per cent success rate. It just gets tricky when we have electrical items brought to us because we won’t necessarily have the right parts.

READ MORE: Southampton man evicted from allotment after 18 years

“We repair anything from bikes, jewellery, computers, toasters, hoovers, CD players – we even do sewing, so our volunteers can really turn their hand to anything.”

Daily Echo:

In the near decade since the repair café opened its doors, they’ve had their fair share of success stories, as Angela recalls: “Before the pandemic we had our one thousandth customer.

“She had been cutting her hedge and needed a new cable on her hedge trimmer, and fortunately one of our repairers had the right part and was able to show her what to do if she ever got into the same situation again, so that was really heartwarming.

“Another time somebody came in with a lawnmower and it was covered in dust and grass, and it just went everywhere. Fortunately, somebody had just repaired a hoover, and with that we were able to hoover up all the dirt! It’s funny how these sorts of things happen because you never know what you’re going to get.”

To get involved, visit