Posts Tagged ‘2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows’

Village focal point has a theme for all seasons

Posted on Monday 8th April 2019 at 9:52 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of the toy library topped with a yarn-bombed Santa hat. Photo of the toy library in the snow.

By Alix Evans, leader at Stoke Gifford Rainbows.

Friday 8th March 2019 saw the celebrations for International Women’s Day and the six-month ‘anniversary’ of the opening of the Stoke Gifford Toy Library. Since opening in September, the Toy Library has been open around six days per week, even during the snow, with a wide selection of toys, games and books available for loan. The reaction from the residents has been fantastic, with lots of interactions on Facebook and Twitter, and ever-changing stock as new donations arrive each day. I’d like to thank everyone who has used or donated to the Toy Library – it’s truly a community resource and a focal point for the younger members of the village.

The Toy Library has had many different decoration themes over the past six months, with particular highlights being our Poppy Day and Advent Calendar displays. The Santa hat donated by the St Mike’s Yarn Bombers really made the Toy Library stand out, and the Rainbows and Brownies have had so much fun making the decorations.

Away from the Toy Library, the girls have been working hard on the new Guiding programme, learning lots of skills from making popcorn over tea lights (Rainbows), to how to project their voice when speaking to a crowd (Brownies) – perfect for the future adventurers and leaders we’re hoping to nurture!

The Rainbows are currently planning their sleepover at Slimbridge WWT, and the Brownies are very excited to be going on a joint Brownie holiday with another unit to experience the magic of Harry Potter.

Units across the division are always looking for volunteers to help us deliver our exciting programme – if you’d like to find out more, please contact or to get involved you can register on the Girlguiding web site:

• The Toy Library, located at The Green, Stoke Gifford works on a self-service basis and is unlocked by volunteers each day.

This article originally appeared in the April 2019 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal magazine (on page 27). The magazine is delivered FREE, EVERY MONTH, to over 5,000 homes in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke and Harry Stoke. Phone 01454 300 400 to enquire about advertising or leaflet insertion.

Share this article:

Discussion is open - be the first to comment - click here to respond.

UK_Best stuff in your city_468x60

Grand opening of Stoke Gifford Toy Library

Posted on Tuesday 23rd October 2018 at 8:42 pm by Laura Mortimore

Photo of Rainbow leader Alix giving a short speech.

The grand opening of the new Stoke Gifford Toy Library, housed in a traditional red ‘heritage’ phone box in the centre of the ‘village’, took place on Saturday 8th September.

The idea for a toy library came about six months ago after the 2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows visited the North Bristol Foodbank. The girls decided that they wanted to do something for children in the community who may not be as fortunate as themselves. During a Rainbows meeting, they decided to collect toys and books and then it was just a case of finding somewhere to store them. The phone box, located at The Green, North Road (near the Beaufort Arms), had been out of use for a number of months and was therefore bought by the parish council for £1 as they didn’t want to see it torn down. After approaching the council, the Rainbows were eventually given permission to turn it into a community toy library.

Funding for the project was secured after a massive effort by volunteers, girls and supporters saw them collect over 96,000 Bristol Post tokens and win the second-place prize of £2,000 in the 2018 Airbus Community Awards. This money was put towards refurbishment and painting of the telephone box, professional stickers for the windows and the all-important shelves for toys to be stored. The money that is left over will be used to maintain the facility in the coming years.

The grand opening was attended by children from both Rainbows and Brownies, as well as two local councillors and guests of honour Richard Bagenda and Bryan Curry, who gave up a lot of their time to help transform the phone box. There was also a cake sale held on The Green, with all proceeds going to the Gromit Unleashed 2 Appeal.

More: Renovating the phone box brought many challenges »

Share this article:

Discussion is open - be the first to comment - click here to respond.

Work begins on Rainbows’ community toy library

Posted on Monday 16th April 2018 at 5:35 pm by Laura Mortimore

The telephone box without its door, which has been removed for repair.The 2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows have been busy recruiting volunteers to help renovate a disused telephone box with the aim of transforming it into a community toy library.

The group of 5 to 7-year-old girls first put out an appeal at the beginning of the year, looking for carpenters, glaziers and cast iron welders to give up some of their time to help transform the phone box. Now, after meeting with some local residents, work has already begun on the telephone box which is located at The Green, North Road. Richard and Bryan, members of the local community, have removed the door and it has been taken away to be repaired. They also removed the backboard located inside the telephone box and cleared away all of the weeds so it is already looking much neater and cleaner. The Rainbows have also had a mystery resident replace the missing panes of glass and the group have been trying to track down who is responsible, posting on their Facebook page: “Are you the anonymous glazing fairy who repaired our broken panes of glass?? Thank you!!!”

Alongside recruiting volunteers, the 2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows have also been busy registering themselves for the Airbus Community Awards which means they are now in with a chance of winning a share of the £10,000 prize money. Tokens were available to collect between Friday 16th February and Monday 19th March and the top ten community groups to collect the most tokens will receive a share of the prize money. The girls, their friends and families all spent countless hours collecting and cutting out tokens but it was all worth it as they collected an incredible total of 96,691 tokens. Alix, leader in charge of the 2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows, expressed her thanks:

“Thank you all so much for your support over the last few weeks. Daffodil has been a force of nature in getting us over 90,000 tokens – with lots of support from work mates, friends and family – it’s been a huge effort and hopefully it will bear fruit. Thank you Daffodil!”

Last week, the winners of the awards were announced at a special ceremony which took place at Airbus in Filton. The 2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows came in second, receiving £2,000 of the prize money.

The next stage of the project is to strip the old paint and repaint the telephone box in the bright red that everyone recognises. The hope is that this will be done in the coming months as the weather improves. The Rainbows will then start thinking about how to decorate the telephone box, most likely using window stickers to publicise Girlguiding.

If anyone has any ideas for the project or would like to help out in anyway, please contact the team at

Photo: The telephone box as it currently stands, with the door having been removed for repairs.

Share this article:

Appeal for tradespersons to help transform phone box into toy library

Posted on Tuesday 27th March 2018 at 5:12 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of girls from the 2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows gathered outside the disused telephone box.

Do you know a carpenter, glazier or cast iron welder who could help transform a disused traditional red ‘heritage’ phone box into a valuable facility for the local community?

The 2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows would like to transform the phone box at The Green, North Road (near the Beaufort Arms) into a community toy library, filled with good quality second-hand toys and books for local children to borrow.

The idea of converting the phone box came following a visit by the Rainbows to the North Bristol Foodbank in Horfield, where the five- and six-year-olds were inspired to do something with a lasting impact for children not as fortunate as themselves.

In a ‘Rainbow chat’ (discussion round), the girls decided they wanted to do something more long-term, and thought of collecting toys and books.
One of the girls, Ruth, aged 6, said: “Visiting the foodbank made me think about other children. I want to help them and everyone should have toys to play with.”

The phone box at The Green, which stands opposite the Rainbows’ regular meeting place at the St Michael’s Centre, has been out of use for a number of months after BT decided it could no longer justify maintaining it due to its low rate of use. It was recently adopted by Stoke Gifford Parish Council at a cost of £1.

After discussion with the parish council, a local engineer provided a free survey of the box, recommending repairs which would allow the box to be a safe, water tight library.

The Rainbows’ assistant leader Michelle said:

“If we can find the right people to help us, we plan to renovate the box, and then decorate it with monthly themes – creating a talking point in the village that not only spreads the word about Girlguiding, but also provides a useful service for families in the area.”

“We work hard with the girls to encourage them to think about their community. This is a perfect way for them to do something visible and positive in their area, and something to be proud of for years to come. We really hope people will be able to come forward and help us make the girls’ ideas a reality.”

More: Encouraging the girls’ interest in STEM subjects »

Share this article:


The Stoke Gifford Journal magazine - your MONTHLY local newspaper.
Ocean Estate Agents, Bradley Stoke, Bristol.