Toy heaven: Toy Library roster co-ordinator Sue Vallis (right), her son Llewellyn and fellow Toy Library member Lee Vassella with her daughter Lauren.
Toy heaven: Toy Library roster co-ordinator Sue Vallis (right), her son Llewellyn and fellow Toy Library member Lee Vassella with her daughter Lauren.

A toy story you can be part of

The Toy Library in Lismore is desperate for more committee workers and volunteers to help run the service or it is in danger of closing down.

The Toy Library has been operating for around 26 years and has a huge cache of around 2000 toys that parents and their children can borrow.

Roster co-ordinator Sue Vallis said she needs people who can do a couple of shifts every school term alongside other volunteers.

“We need people to help run the borrowing desk, tidy the toys and generally just make people who have come to borrow toys feel welcome,” Sue said. “It’s a great way to get out in the community and meet other parents and it’s also very rewarding. When you see a child smile because they’ve found a toy they’re really chuffed with, it is just beautiful.”

Sue said the Toy Library was started by Margaret Hildebrand, who realised that women could pool resources and share play items to save money and also give their children access to a wider choice of toys.

Sue said after 26 years in operation it was frustrating they still couldn’t access any funding and had to rely on volunteers.

“Our members are all parents with young children who are busy and time poor,” Sue said. “It feels unfair – we’re stretched already as parents and then we have to run our own service. We really need Council or some other community organisation to provide some sort of support worker but so far we’ve been unsuccessful every time we’ve approached anyone. As the roster co-ordinator, it’s getting harder and harder for me – I’m finding it difficult to find the time and the energy to support our volunteers and as a result things are falling through the cracks. We really need extra hands.”

The Toy Library is primarily for children aged 0 to school age and volunteers are needed to do one two two-hour shifts every school term.

If you can help out or would like more information, phone Jeannette Tyler at Volunteering Northern Rivers on 6621 7397.


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