Northam Toy Library faces uncertain future with lack of community support

Committee members of the Northam Toy Library are warning that the service may have to shut down if volunteers do not lend a hand.

All current committee members are standing down from their roles after more than five years running the library, that gives parents and carers access to more than hundred toys for their children to loan.

Long-standing committee member Fiona Brayshaw said it is time to hand over the reigns.

"Everyone has been on the committee for about five or six years and we're all ready to go," she said.

"We have been here long enough - we are not doing it justice.

"We've come to our end and need some more energy in the group.

"We will definitely help whoever comes along - we are not going to leave anyone in the lurch.

"We are going to help anybody but we all want to step back."

Mrs Brayshaw said the toy library provides a valuable service to the community, that would be felt if it had to close its doors.

"It is just a really handy resource for parents - especially if you have toddlers who grow out of toys really quickly," she said.

"Toddlers get bored very quickly so you can rotate the toys every two weeks so you can give them new stuff.

"It is also really good for kids with disabilities - we have lots of toys that help with developmental and motor skills.

"There is also the environmental factor - there is so much plastic and consumables in the world and this is a reusable service."

Mrs Brayshaw said over the past few years the running of the facility has been put down to committee members instead of how it once was with the load shared among community members.

She said although the service is now only open from 9am to 10.30am on a Saturday, if the demand was there, the library could open more frequently.

"The toy library has changed massively - over the last two or three years we have had a lot less members," she said.

"Everybody who used to be a member used to be on a roster to open up each Saturday but nobody would show up.

It came down to the committee members.

"Members are less active, there are less members and everyone is busy.

"People are not being lazy - they're just really busy."

To get more people on board the Northam Toy Library is holding an AGM on Wednesday, June 26 at the Dukes Inn from 6.30pm.

Anyone in the Avon Valley region is invited to come along.

Mrs Brayshaw said upon asking for help a few locals have put their hands up.

"We do have a couple of ladies who are keen to keep it going and they will be on the committee but we want to give them as much support and as many people as possible," she said.

"There is potential to stay open but we need more people."

For more information on the Northam Toy Library contact Fiona Brayshaw o 0428505798 or at fefe_8989@yahoo.com.