The Cobram Courier

Toy library hit by shortage of volunteers

- By Isabelle Harris cobramtoyl­ibrary@gmail.com

The Cobram Toy Library is in danger of closing amid a lack of volunteers putting their hands up to help support the group.

It has been lending toys to families with children up to six years old for more than 40 years and is entirely staffed by volunteers.

The library can help keep family budgets under control by sharing new toys around, especially when expensive brand-new toys or educationa­l toys are concerned.

People can join the library and need to volunteer their time as committee members or by staffing the library for pickup, drop-off and cleaning, as well as annual cataloguin­g.

“The toy library at its core has a sustainabl­e focus, they’re used by multiple people and aren’t going to landfill ... it’s a try-before-you-buy sort of thing,” caretaking president LIz Stronge said.

She said a number of volunteers had stepped down after their children had moved onto other activities.

“We had a core membership of about 25 to 30 people pre-COVID, they were really loyal and regular borrowers but since COVID, it’s really dropped off,” she said.

Ms Stronge said they had been investigat­ing a “locked box” system with the council, but it was still uncertain whether it would go ahead.

However. if the group is unable to find more volunteers, it will be forced to close the toy library service.

“We would love to have grandparen­ts to be interested as well as current parents ... we’d be more than willing to have people that have a desire to help,” Ms Stronge said.

She also said being part of the toy library was more than accessing extra toys, as it provided a great social opportunit­y for the children and parents alike.

“I’ve really benefited from

my participat­ing in the committee and my kids have a connection from meeting kids there,” she said.

“We need bums on seats,

we need people power ... just put your hand up, the volunteeri­ng can be as much or as little as people want ... it’s not an onerous task.”

If you’re interested in getting involved, reach out to the Cobram Toy LIbrary on 0412 605 436 or via email at

 ?? ?? In jeopardy: The toy library has a wide variety of toys available, but is facing closure due to a lack of volunteers.
In jeopardy: The toy library has a wide variety of toys available, but is facing closure due to a lack of volunteers.

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