In the relative quiet of New Lambton Branch Library one sound you may hear is the bright, tinkling laughter of children.
Newcastle Toy Library is a non-profit run community, located in the New Lambton Library. It has been providing joy for children and parents alike since 1975.
President Tess Phillips and her group of amazing volunteers strive to supply families with an array of toys, catering for children aged 0-8 years.
“The Toy Library is a way for all families to have access to high quality toys without the prohibitive cost of purchasing,” says Tess.
Originally the service was designed for children with disabilities. It has since expanded to include all families.
According to the National Waste Report 2020, an estimated 2.5 million tonnes of plastic were dumped into landfill between 2018 and 2019.
Tess strives to eliminate waste by encouraging people to donate their toys. “The Toy Library model promotes sharing and reusing from a young age, and this helps families start a conversation around recycling, waste reduction and sustainability.”
Altogether, the library has 1,440 toys, all newly labelled and sanitised. With returning toys being placed in quarantine until they are ready to go to the public again.
The Toy Library is currently raising funds for new roller shutters and shelving. This will free up space and provide more room for current and new members alike. It will also provide added security and allow for more toys to be displayed.
“It will also mean safer access for those in wheelchairs or with prams as there will be more clear space to maneuver around in,” Tess said.
The donation page can be found on MyCause, sitting on $550, they hope to reach $3,000. “All donations are tax deductible,” Tess added.