Social Enterprise Spotlight – Repair Café Glasgow

Posted: 18 May 2021, in News

Our newest Social Enterprise Spotlight is Jonathan Dawes and Repair Café Glasgow. Repair Café Glasgow is a voluntary organisation, founded in 2017 on the principles of Repair Café International, and built upon the idea that our possessions have lots of life left in them when we maintain and repair them. Read and share their Q&A interview below!

Get in contact with Jonathan on

What’s your social and/or environmental mission?
Repair Café Glasgow’s mission is to save the world, one toaster at a time. Toasters are not all we repair. As we work alongside one another, we find ourselves feeling better, our moods uplifted. There’s something about being together for a meaningful purpose and working with our hands that’s special.

How do you do it?
We host events at The Deep End at 21 Nithsdale Street G412PZ, the second and fourth Saturdays of every month from 12-3. Our volunteers are from many walks of life and try their hand at any kind of repair imaginable. Visitors help repair their item while enjoying tea, coffee and home baked goods.

What’s your personal motivation for being a social entrepreneur?
I fell into it. I didn’t even know there was such a thing; I just knew that I wanted to do something meaningful and wanted to get paid to do it.

What are your current projects?
I am currently the founder and director of Repair Café Glasgow and The Pram Project. Repair Café Glasgow is looking for new volunteers to help with repairs, hosting, data collection, and café service. The Pram Project is looking for volunteers to help with repairs, cleaning, sorting, administration, finance and ecommerce.

What exciting things do you have coming up?
We are just excited to be able to meet again in person. Each event is a chance to get together and do good work alongside one another, helping our community keep stuff out of landfill longer. Check our events page to find out where to meet us next.

Who do you want to work with more?
Both projects would like to build our network to include housing associations, development trusts, local authorities as well as national government.

What’s your biggest challenge?
Our goal with Repair Café Glasgow is to become a national organisation that sets up repair cafes in any and every place that wants one, similar to Repair Café Wales. The Welsh government supports them with core funding; any new repair café receives their support. They’ve opened 60 new repair cafes in 4 years.

What top tips would you give to other social enterprises?
Take your ideas and test them, but don’t wait too long. Sometimes you just have to take action and assume that something positive will come of it. There are a host of organisations and individual social entrepreneurs willing to help you and walk alongside you as you get things going.

Jonathan Dawes, Founder and Director of Repair Café Glasgow