We started off at the Shepshed council offices in 1984, however space was limited and the Toy Library needed to expand. In September 1993, the annex was opened on the then ‘Hind Leys Campus’ and has been in existence since then. We are very grateful to our funders, because without them, we would not operate. Two part time staff have always been employed, one to run the play room and the other to run the Toy loan side. We are mainly volunteer led and currently have 9 volunteers. Two of these have additional needs and two of our volunteers are students from the Iveshead Campus where we are situated. Rachael manages our accounts on a voluntary basis. We also have two ladies from Clarendon Support services.
The Toy Library supports child development through play by offering a range of quality toys to all children including those with disabilities for recreation, therapy and education to advance their intellectual, motor, personal and social development. We have around 2000 indoor and outdoor toys. These include toys such as story sacks (with over 30 different themes), games, jigsaws, DVD’s, dressing up, sensory, ride-ons and construction toys. Most of our toys are quality donations, and some have been purchased with grants. We also sell toys, books and stationery as well as having two raffles per year, whereby local businesses and people have donated gifts.
Currently within the toy loan and family room we help over 200 children and their families in a radius of 18 miles. We use our expertise to recommend specialist play equipment and age appropriate activities. The play room is run by a qualified play leader and from January to July 2019 the theme will be travel, customs and cultures. During these sessions, activities promote well-being, craft and learning.