Stoke Gifford Toy Library proving a big hit

 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.

Now that the Toy Library is fully up and running, the Girlguiding groups are starting to think about their next projects. Recently, they have collected advent calendars for the North Bristol Food Bank and they are collecting new toys for the Salvation Army toy appeal. Parents are also donating baby items to the Baby Bank. In the future, they are looking at putting a geocache (a small, waterproof treasure box that people can search for using GPS coordinates) into the phone box, and maybe finding another box to convert elsewhere in the Division area.

To keep up to date with the Toy Library news, follow their Facebook page or to enquire about joining Girlguiding as a member or a leader, just search ‘Girlguiding’ online.

This article originally appeared in the December 2018 issue of the Stoke Gifford Journal news magazine (on page 14). 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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