Walthamstow Toy Library and Play Centre Newsletter, March 2016
Welcome to our spring newsletter. It’s been a busy year so far at the toy library. In January, we won a competition to become The Mall’s charity partner for 2016. They’ll be supporting us with events and fundraising throughout the year. Thanks to all who voted for us!
In February we hosted our first ever London Children’s Bookswap, a fun event where young readers had the chance to swap old books for new. We also bid goodbye to Carol, a valued member of staff for over 3 years. We are currently recruiting for a Toy Librarian/Play Worker (see under vacancies or our Facebook page for details).
We were proud to support local MP Stella Creasy at Walthamstow’s inspiring Feminist Bootcamp in March, where we ran a crèche.
Finally, our battery-operated toys have been given a new lease of life thanks to Antony Smith, Director of Providus Financial. Antony’s generous donation of £500 has enabled us to buy rechargeable batteries and battery chargers. Overleaf Antony offers some advice on the best ways to save for your child’s future.
Dates for your diary
From Tuesday 12th April, we will be running a free weekly Breastfeeding Support Group with the help of generous donations from The Hornbeam and the Harris Family Trust. Petra Höhfurtner, who is well known in the borough for providing parents with advice and support, will run the group and we will be looking for continued funding to support it.
On Saturday 23rd April, we’ll be taking part in the Addison Road Health Centre Open Day where there will be plenty of free activities for families to enjoy.
Come and join us for our annual May Fair on Sunday 8th May! Last year’s fair was a huge success and this year there will be even more fun, games, stalls and delicious refreshments, plus face-painting, a bouncy castle and music for all the family from Mrs H and the Singalong Band. Try your luck at Trash or Treasure or the Human Fruit Machine! If you’d like to run a stall, bake some cakes or help out on the day, we’d love to hear from you. We’re also looking for items in good condition for tombola prizes and plants to sell on our flower and veg stall.
Changes to play session times
After consulting as many of our members as possible, we are changing our session times to
help us accommodate other groups and activities during the day. After the Easter
break, new session times will be:
Mon–Fri 9.30–11.30am and 2–3.30pm
Note that the toy library will be closed on Good Friday and Bank Holiday Monday, and both May bank holidays.
Groups at the Toy Library and Play Centre
Yoga with Melissa Gaul
Mon 1–2pm. To book a place, contact Melissa on 07793 394 531 or email email@example.com.
Tiny Time Music with Anita
Creative music-making for 0–3-year-olds.
Pay on the door: £6 for the first child, £9 for two children.
Art Tots with Lemon Art Lab
Art history adventures for under 5s, with a
different theme each week.
Thur 4–5pm. £6 per child online, £8 per child on the door. Advance booking recommended.
Front gate mural – share your ideas!
Local artist Emma Scutt is giving our front gate a facelift and would love to hear your ideas for
what to paint – either pop by and tell us or write a comment on our Facebook page.
We appreciate that sometimes urgent emails and messages have to be dealt with, but we ask all parents and carers to keep mobile phone usage to a minimum during play sessions. We also ask you to be considerate when taking photos of your child and ask the permission of the adult responsible for any other child appearing in the photo.
www.walthamstowtoylibrary.org, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @e17toylibrary
Saving For Their Future
Most parents want to put something aside for their children’s future. Whether it’s for school or
university fees or simply gifts from family e.g. birthday and Christmas money, careful consideration
should be made as to the most appropriate option.
The main considerations are the event you are saving for, and when you would be happy for your child
to have access to the money. Any savings that are made in the child’s name can be accessed by them
automatically at 18, sometimes before. Whilst this may be perfectly fine for smaller amounts, you may
want to keep larger amounts, such as those earmarked for education, in your own name so that you
can decide when to hand it over.
Another consideration that is often overlooked is tax. If a child earns more than £100 in interest per tax year from money given to them by a parent (or step-parent), the parent is liable for income tax on the interest – even if the child has not exceeded their income tax allowance. When saving, most people don’t look beyond cash based bank accounts. However, if you are saving over the long term then you should consider investing in stocks and shares once you have a suitable emergency fund in place (ideally 3 to 6 months typical outgoings). This can be done via a Junior ISA (£4,080 limit per year), a Stocks & Shares ISA in your own name (£15,240 limit) or even a pension in your child’s name (£3,600 gross limit per year assuming the child doesn’t have an income).
Obviously investing in the markets carries a risk that you will get back less than you put in; however, in
the long run you would hope to see a greater return than you would in a simple savings account. The
degree of risk can be managed at an appropriate level, and there are lots of different options out there, including ethical investment strategies if you feel strongly about where your money is invested.
At Providus, we offer access to a range of different investment strategies which can be managed online, for further information see https://providus.parmenion.co.uk/client/Application/gettingstarted/introduction.
Looking back at cash savings, if you are looking for a good return and to support a local enterprise
then it is well worth considering the East London Credit Union http://elcu.co.uk/index.php/savingstype/junior-saver). They offer a rate of 3% on their child saver account which is a lot higher than most bank accounts. Your money is also protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme within their normal limits.
In summary, there are many things to consider when saving for your children’s future. The key is to
put something aside each month, however little, as it will make a big difference in the long run.
For further information or advice, please contact Antony Smith on 0333 456 0 468 or at
Providus Financial Limited is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. The value of investments and the income produced by them can fall as well as rise.
This article is based on our understanding of the legislation, regulation and precedents at the time of writing. No liability can be taken for errors and omissions. This article does not constitute advice under the terms of the Financial Services act. No liability can be taken for actions taken based on the information given.