The popular Four Oaks Toy Library threw a birthday party today (27 June) to celebrate its 10th anniversary – and there was plenty of cake and fun for all.
The landmark event – which took place at St James Church in Mere Green – featured food, games and play, along with a bouncy castle and a VIP visit from Peppa Pig. Party invitations were snapped up by current and former members and staff who have supported the library over the years.
The Toy Library first opened its doors in 2008 at Mere Green Primary School, part of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership (ATLP). It loans out toys to youngsters from birth to eight-year-old and provides additional services, including sensory sessions for babies and children with additional needs.
From its small beginnings, the Toy Library has grown to more than 900 members and successfully relocated to Mere Green’s St James Church in September 2017.
Toy librarian Lynda Gregory said:
“We’re thrilled to be 10-years-old and would like to celebrate our decade of difference with friends and family of the Toy Library. It really is one big, happy family. From those very first members, we have been part of so many lives. We’ve had the joy of watching these babies and children grow and then welcomed their younger siblings. We are so proud at how far we have come and how this facility brings the community together.”
Sue Bailey, strategic lead for the Sutton Coldfield Children’s Centres and assistant headteacher at Arthur Terry School, has also been there since the birth of the Toy Library. She has just been awarded an MBE for her work in the community and supporting young families is central to her role.
“Congratulations to the Toy Library on reaching this milestone. This beloved and vital service has made such a difference to many over the years. Being a new parent or having a child with additional needs can be isolating. This service provides a touchstone for families in the community; a safe and friendly place where mums, dads, grandparents, carers, can meet for a cuppa, while the little ones play. It’s been wonderful to see these children flourish and I was delighted to be able to join in the fun and celebrations on their big day.”