Donation boosts toys for community

Cambridge children Ursula Edwards, Anaiyah Tuwhangai and Ainsley Williams opening the toys funded by the ANZ Staff Foundation, with Cambridge ANZ staff Melanie Murphy (Anaiyah’s grandmother) and Jane Rush.

The Cambridge Toy Library has purchased a suite of new educational toys thanks to a recent donation of nearly one thousand dollars to the non-profit community service on Taylor St.

Operating out of the Cambridge Health and Community Centre, the Cambridge Toy Library gives families and their children aged 0 to 10 the chance to borrow educational toys, games, puzzles and equipment in a similar fashion to a library service.

Emma Page, President of the Cambridge Toy Library said the recent donation of $994 from the ANZ New Zealand Staff Foundation enabled an even wider range of equipment to be provided to Cambridge children.

“Children learn through play. With the generous grant we have been able to purchase these amazing financial literacy and numeracy toys,” she said. “The children can learn to recognise numbers, counting and learn basic mathematics through role play, plus be introduced to how we use currency.

“We may even have future ANZ staff in the making!”

“As a not-for-profit, we rely on the assistance of charities like the ANZ New Zealand Staff Foundation” added Marissa Cassin, grants officer for the Cambridge Toy Library.

Cambridge ANZ branch manager Jane Rush was on hand for the donation hand over at the Toy Library recently and said even some of the bank staff use its services.

“One of my team members is a grandmother and she regularly uses the toy library. Not only is it fun, it’s also a great way for her to get to know other families with kids of the same age. It’s organisations like this that really bring our community together.”

As a non-profit organisation, the Cambridge Toy Library is run completely by volunteers and has in recent years faced declining membership. “With living costs increasing and families’ disposable income decreasing, it is inevitable that some members find they can no longer afford to be a member of their local toy library,” Marissa said. “There have even been instances of toy libraries in other towns closing down.”

Thankfully the Cambridge Toy Library volunteers have been able to turn this around, engaging with community groups, doing tours through the library and promoting the benefits of joining. To find out more, or to donate or become a volunteer, visit www.facebook.com/cambridgetoylibrary/.

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