Li­brary life­line

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

Ac­tiv and Noah’s Ark have com­bined to re­vive a toy li­brary, now called Ac­tiv Learn­ing and Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre, in East Vic­to­ria Park.

AC­TIV and Noah’s Ark have come full circle, unit­ing to open Ac­tiv Learn­ing and Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre – a com­bined spe­cial­ist li­brary and toy ser­vice for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and their fam­i­lies.

More than 40 years ago Ac­tiv and Noah’s Ark were based to­gether in a Su­bi­aco of­fice be­fore split­ting off in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions.

But the or­gan­i­sa­tions’ re­cent merger has seen the suc­cess­ful res­cue of the ser­vice pro­vided by the for­mer Noah’s Ark Toy Li­brary in Mor­ley, which closed in 2017, af­fect­ing more than 200 fam­i­lies.

Emma Davis was one of the ser­vice’s many users to email gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and sign pe­ti­tions in an at­tempt to re-es­tab­lish the ser­vice. Ms Davis’ daugh­ter Nina (4) has not been of­fi­cially di­ag­nosed but shows epilep­tic symp­toms.

“We had been us­ing Noah’s Ark for about three years, as Nina’s syn­drome means she has low mus­cle tone and con­se­quently is un­able to use reg­u­lar toys,” she said.

“Switch-en­abled toys are ex­tremely ex­pen­sive, so to have been able to ac­cess them for free was so amaz­ing. When Noah’s Ark closed, our fam­ily and many oth­ers I knew from play­group were dev­as­tated, so it is def­i­nitely a bless­ing to have the ser­vice up and running again.”

The new learn­ing and dis­cov­ery cen­tre will of­fer mem­bers ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion ser­vices, as well as a large col­lec­tion of spe­cial­ist books and play-based re­sources, with $75,000 from the State Gov­ern­ment for the tran­si­tion.

Ac­tiv chief ex­ec­u­tive Danielle New­port said com­mu­nity re­sources only sur­vived if they were sup­ported by the com­mu­nity and it was clear the merger to res­cue the Toy Li­brary was one that felt right.

Emma Davis and daugh­ter Imo­gene with Ac­tiv chief ex­ec­u­tive Danielle New­port.

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