Kid at heart recog­nised

Pilbara News - - News - Court­ney Fowler

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.

Elise Bignell

Pic­ture: Com­mBank

In recog­ni­tion of her com­mit­ment to the com­mu­nity, Elise Bignell has been cho­sen as an Aus­tralian of the Day.

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