Posts Tagged ‘Stoke Gifford Toy Library’

Charity begins… in the toy library!

Posted on Wednesday 22nd May 2019 at 9:06 pm by SH (Editor)

Photo of Ruth delivering a box of donations to the charity shop in Bedminster.

A Brownie from Stoke Gifford has donated a box of cat food, treats and toys to Bristol Cats Protection as part of her work towards gaining the newly introduced Charity interest badge.

Ruth (aged 8), and her family, adopted a cat from the charity in August last year and so, when choosing a charity to support, she was keen to continue helping local cats. She made a poster about the charity and put a collection box inside the Stoke Gifford Toy Library for a month.

In early April, she visited the Bedminster Cats Protection charity shop to hand over the goodies kindly donated by Stoke Gifford residents.

Sarah, manager at the store, was very pleased to receive the goodies and was impressed by Ruth’s efforts with her poster and collection box. Ruth said:

“I love my cat, Nala, and wanted to do more to help other cats who don’t yet have homes. I thought they would like some treats and toys to help cheer them up while they are waiting to be adopted.”

Hedgehog, assistant leader at 1st Stoke Gifford Brownies, said:

“The Charity badge is just one of the exciting new interest badges that can be earned by Brownies as part of the new Girlguiding programme. I’d like to thank the residents of Stoke Gifford who supported Ruth in her efforts, and hope they’ll be happy to do so again if another Brownie decides to hold a collection in future.”

Girlguiding units across the area are always looking for volunteers to help deliver their programme of activities – if you’d like to find out more, please contact

• The toy library, opened in autumn 2018, is housed within an old telephone kiosk at The Green, Stoke Gifford. It works on a self-service basis and is unlocked by volunteers each day.

More: Photo of the collection box in the toy library »

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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.

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Stoke Gifford Toy Library proving a big hit

Posted on Tuesday 18th December 2018 at 10:33 pm by Laura Mortimore

 Photo of the Toy Library decorated with a Children in Need theme. Photo of the Toy Library decorated with a Halloween theme.

The Stoke Gifford Toy Library has been open since the beginning of September 2018 and has so far proven to be a roaring success. The phone box, located opposite The Green on North Road in Stoke Gifford, is proving very popular with the local community as there has been a high turnover of items and sometimes too much stuff to fit inside!

Although it is hard to say how many people have been using the Toy Library, many people have been contacting the 2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows to ask about the project, wanting to donate items or just commenting on what a nice idea it is. The ‘Stoke Gifford Toy Library’ Facebook page has 197 followers, and their Facebook ‘reach’ has peaked at 3,152 which is very impressive. Currently, the library contains plenty of toddler and pre-school toys, but it doesn’t have many for older children. The Rainbows are now looking for donations of board games, puzzles and other things that older children would be interested in.

Alix, leader of the 2nd Stoke Gifford Rainbows, has been really pleased with the response from the public, saying:

“The box is very well looked after by the public – initial fears that we may be vandalised haven’t come to pass so far. The majority of toys don’t get returned (which isn’t a problem, as we have plenty), however those that do are fine to be borrowed again; we’ve not had anything returned which has had to be thrown away.”

Since the Toy Library has been open, the Rainbows and Brownies have been decorating it to different themes. As you walk by, you may have noticed colourful butterflies, spooky Halloween decorations and bright red poppies. The phone box is currently decorated with an array of colourful spots which were put up to represent Children in Need on Friday 16th November. The Rainbows and Brownies are planning new themes of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and ‘Christmas’ throughout December and then ‘Chinese New Year’ in January.

More: Groups starting to think about their next projects »

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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 »

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