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Toy Library named nation’s best

April 9, 2022 BY

Families and volunteers of Surf Coast Toy Library have celebrated their centre being named Australia's top volunteer-run service for the past year. Co-president Liis Green is pictured centre. Photo: BILLY HIGGINS

SURF Coast Toy Library’s COVID bounceback has earned it the title of the best toy library in Australia.

The Torquay community facility was crowned the top volunteer-run service of its kind at Toy Library Australia’s 2022 awards ceremony last weekend.

The peak body commended the Surf Coast library’s dedication and success to rebuild and re-engage its members throughout the pandemic when restrictions and closures saw borrowing drop drastically.

The group launched initiatives such as at-home activities through social media during lockdowns and thought of inventive ways to attract funding, such as through a sponsorship drive aimed at local businesses.

Surf Coast Toy Library is a membership-based service based at Surf Coast Shire Council’s Torquay Children’s Hub, which provides a range of toys, puzzles, games and sports gear for children aged six months to six years that families can borrow and exchange as they would books at a traditional library.

“We are thrilled with this award because it has been a challenging time and our committee, who are all parent volunteers, have worked really hard to negotiate the various restrictions and continue to provide a valued service for the community,” co-president Zoe Lewis said.

“We are now enjoying an influx of new members and the highest monthly borrowing activity we have seen.

“The place is really full of fun and activity every time we open at the moment, so if you are a local parent with young children, I’d definitely encourage you to join.”

The library’s other co-president Liis Green said the service was grateful for the support it received from Surf Coast Shire.

“The shire have been fantastic in providing the space in the Torquay Children’s Hub on Grossmans Road, and supporting us with grants,” Ms Green said. “The toy library brings a lot of happiness to local children, and that’s the reason everyone on the committee and our volunteer duty members give their time.”