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20 Years of Toy Library

by Claire Ganthony

Derbyshire Toy Library Logo

Derbyshire Toy Libraries are celebrating quite a milestone this month, as they reach the grand old age of 20 in May 2020. The charity was founded as Crich Millennium Toy Library by Ann-Marie McMillan and a group of enthusiastic volunteers who were parents of young children. The original aim was to provide a rural toy library for families who were unable to travel easily to local towns. The vision has grown and developed over time, but at heart remains that focus on providing what families with young children really need.

smiling woman holding I love my toy library sign
Founder Ann-Marie McMillan

As well as running Stay & Play sessions in Crich, Belper, South Normanton, and Kilburn, Derbyshire Toy Libraries had also expanded to include Young at Heart intergenerational play sessions at two care homes in Belper and Duffield. Plans were afoot to expand to offer sessions around Ripley and Alfreton but are on hold at the moment. During the current Coronavirus Crisis, DTL has established a click and contactless toy hire service. This provides families with access to a wide variety of resources to keep children of all ages entertained and learning through play during school closures and social restrictions.  The service focuses on DTL’s core values of supporting families, the value and importance of play and encouraging sustainable living as expressed through their motto #Dontbuyhire. To further develop this service with an online toy database, Derbyshire Toy Libraries are applying for an Awards for All lottery grant. You can support them simply by clicking here and completing the survey.

2 boys playing with wooden train set
toys available for click and contactless collection

Derbyshire Toy Libraries aim to raise £2020 during 2020. During the month of May there are raffles running, with the top prize being a beautiful red RetroPedal fire engine. Tickets are available to buy via bank transfer and details of this and other raffle prizes can be found on their facebook page. You can also find details of the fantastic toys and resources available to hire through click and contactless collection. Throughout May DTL are introducing their team on their facebook page too and catching up with some of the children who attended those first sessions in 2000.

Happy Birthday Toy Library, we look forward to sharing a slice of cake with you when sessions are able to start again!

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