Rides, farm animals and picnics help toy service celebrate day

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GOING strong after it started 40 years ago, Connors Toy Library had a family fun day to celebrate its birthday.

The charitable service gives families the chance to borrow different toys for a week.

FUN Children from Connors Toy Library meet Peppa Pig. Picture: Snowden Photography

FUN Children from Connors Toy Library meet Peppa Pig. Picture: Snowden Photography

To mark its 40th year, volunteers from Connors Toy Library set up a fun day on Clarence Field, in Southsea.

They had a bouncy castle, fun fair rides, sand pits, face painting, outdoor toys and a petting zoo.

Karen Drayton, manager at Connors Toy Library, said: ‘Yesterday we held our annual toy picnic but we were also celebrating our 40th birthday.

‘Connors Toy Library first started in 1973 so we are really lucky to still be here considering the current financial climate.

‘But everyone seemed to have a good time and the turnout was pretty much what we were expecting.

‘The weather held off and everyone had fun.’

Parents bought their young children along to pet the animals and play the various games while enjoying a picnic.

Hayley Callahan, mum-of-two, has used the toy library service and thinks it is a great service.

She said: ‘I heard about the service through Sure Start and I think it is a really good idea.

‘Not only did I get to give my daughter Lily new toys every week, I got to learn what toys were best suited for her age.

‘They also gave a lot of useful advice and I benefited a lot from it.

‘It gave Lily the chance to make friends and I also made friends with the other parents.’

As well as lending out toys, the service offers advice on parenting and a child’s well-being.

Karen added: ‘We provide and stay and play sessions throughout the city for families with children under the age of five.

‘They can come along, enjoy the session, some art and crafts and a snack.

‘But, we also have an out reach service which goes to vulnerable families who might not want to come to the sessions.

‘We go into their homes and offer them advice and support through play with their child which, we feel, really helps.’

For more information on Connors Toy Library visit their website at ctlib.org.uk