Meon Valley Repair Café

21 February 2022

A Repair Café recently opened at Waltham Chase Methodist Church in Hampshire after church members decided to see what they could do to reduce the amount of broken portable domestic items taken to the local tip and landfill.

Repair Café is an international grassroots movement that started in Holland in 2009. Local initiatives are now beginning to pop up across the UK.

In addition to reducing waste, Repair Cafés encourage wellbeing, aim to reduce the impact of depression and facilitate discussion and fellowship amongst members.

The Waltham Chase church members approached Hampshire County Council and were awarded a grant to fund the project. A shipping container was installed in the church car park and fitted out with a work bench and tools. A basement room was also allocated in the church.

Trial meetings once a month began prior to a Grand Opening in February. Meetings take place now on the first Saturday morning of each month, encouraged by the bacon butties and coffee.

Martin Letts, Meon Valley Methodist Circuit Steward, said: “There is no shortage of items to repair from an exercise cycle, guitar case, to a computer-printer interface, and even a pair of trousers!  

“Fortunately the team has engineers qualified to repair electrical items and test them to the required national standards. Word is spreading and there are now an increasing number of items to repair. An oft heard cry is ‘Could you just have a look at my broken…?’  Possibly with the words: ‘I have asked my other half but they haven’t the time to fix it!’”.



The grand opening of the Repair Café:  Cllr Rob Humby cutting  a ribbon  and local MP Flick Drummond  cuts a celebratory cake

The local MP, Hampshire County Councillors, District Councillors and well-wishers came to the grand opening. Martin Letts said: “It was great to see everyone pulling together. Most of all it was wonderful to be able to share with others in determining how we all move forward in overcoming these twenty first century challenges of reducing waste and relative isolation amongst some groups in society. It’s also a good demonstration of how churches and local authorities can build strong links.”


Food mixer restoration at the Repair Café  

Listen to Circuit Steward, Martin Letts speaking to UCB Radio about the Repair Café here