Kid at heart recognised
Mother of two, Elise Bignell, may just have the best job in the Pilbara, running a volunteer operated Toy Library — well, at least her children think so.
After Ms Bignell moved to Paraburdoo in 2009, she joined the Toy Library after quickly realising there wasn’t much on offer in the way of children’s entertainment.
“My two boys love coming here to help me out as toy testers,” she said.
“We just had a big fundraiser to get more toys and purchased a big water slide in time for the Para Have a Go Day.”
Ms Bignell said the philosophy behind the organisation, was to provide local families with an inexpensive alternative to freighting toys from the city.
“Having new toys shipped from Perth is very costly and kids get bored with toys very quickly,” she said.
“This way, families can borrow a variety of toys and kids can try before you buy.
“We are open every Sunday morning and toys can be loaned out for a period of two weeks at a time.”
Ms Bignell said playing with new toys was not only fun but also important for the development of neural pathways in children’s brains.
“Playing with toys stimulates brain development and problem-solving abilities,” she said.
“The Toy Library is also a great place for new families to meet others; we’re a very tight knit community here.”
In recognition of her commitment to the local community, Ms Bignell has recently been chosen as an Australian of the Day — a CommBank initiative to champion every day, grassroots Australians.
Ms Bignell said she was surprised by her award, but was glad to see the Toy Library get some recognition.
“It’s nice for us to get a bit of exposure, as we are a non-for profit, volunteer run business,” she said.
“We are always looking for more helpers, come down and visit us at the Paraburdoo Sports Pavilion. No experience is necessary; you just need to enjoy playing with toys, and who doesn’t love that.”
Playing with toys stimulates brain development and problem-solving abilities.
In recognition of her commitment to the community, Elise Bignell has been chosen as an Australian of the Day.