May Fair
It’s nearly time! Our annual fete this year is on 20 May, 11 til 2, and is shaping up to be the best ever. Come along, bring your kids, family, neighbours and friends, and have some (hopefully) sunny fun! While raising money for the toy library! There’ll be:

  • Fancy dress competition – for the children, though feel free to join in!
  • A fire engine!
  • Face painting and children’s haircuts
  • Prizes galore, from tombolas to games to raffles
  • Retro races – remember egg and spoon? The sack race?
  • Local bands, choirs and singers entertaining you all the while

BUT, we still need more help on the day. Could you lend a hand? Make something for the cake stall (last year it raised £250 alone)? Man a stall for a while? Supervise a race? The more help we have, the more stalls we can run, the more money we can make, and the better the toy library can be. Remember, we get no funding from the council or government.

If that doesn’t persuade you, just think – now’s your chance to serve cake to a fireman!

To volunteer or offer cake, email me at, or

We’re also still taking donations for the CD and book stall. And don’t forget to buy some raffle tickets!

Saturday morning sessions
After the roaring success of our springtime Saturday openings, we’re going to make them a permanent fixture. We’ll be open every Saturday, except 26 May, until the summer closure in August if you want to join in the fun, or send your partner while you have a lie-in! They run 10 til 12 as usual, involve tea, coffee and hopefully cake, and are for under-5s.
We have new playworkers!
Tayaba Hussain will be joining us at the end of May, working with Helen on Tuesday mornings. Paulette Nash, who has been such a wonderful volunteer, will also become a paid play worker, working various sessions. They both have extensive experience with young children, and boundless enthusiasm. Welcome aboard!

However, on a sad note, Priyanka will no longer be volunteering for us. She’s done a great job, and we’d all like to extend our thanks and good wishes to her.

Call for help!
You may have noticed the toy library getting very popular lately. This is of course marvellous, but brings with it additional work to keep it running smoothly – additional work that we don’t have the staff or resources to cover.

Could you lend a hand? Any amount of time you could donate would be gratefully received. Tasks we need help with include:

  • Making snacks during play sessions
  • A monthly sweep and prune of the garden
  • Fundraising help at events
  • Cakes. Join our baking brigade, making cakes to sell during sessions or at fundraisers
  • Campaigning on our behalf
  • Administration – anything from writing and distributing letters or maintaining the email list, to laminating membership cards
  • Cleaning and stock-taking toys
  • Sourcing funding, and completing grant applications
  • Running a special workshop (depending on skills and experience)

If you can help, email me at, or the manager, Carla Cornelius, at Thanks in advance!

 Big thank you…
… to Ros Collier for donating a lovely, fully functioning vacuum cleaner to the toy library! It’s made a big difference to the speed and ease of clearing up. Such a luxury to not have to clean glitter from the carpet with a hard brush!

And finally…
Don’t forget to fill in a members’ survey form when you’re next at the toy library. Keeping tabs on what we’re doing right, and wrong, helps us constantly improve our service.