Group toys with its future

Let the children play: Toy library secretary Holly Dumez with Mabel Dumez, 3, and committee member Sarah Fredric

A Queenstown community group might have to throw its toys out if it can’t find new premises.

Wakatipu Toy Library, which operates from Queenstown’s former campground store, has been given notice it has to vacate by November 10.

Queenstown’s council, which doesn’t charge it any rent, needs the land for the Lakeview development project.

However the move threatens the future of the library, which has been camped in Man Street since 2003.

“We’re frantically searching, but as a charity with a small budget it’s a massive struggle to find somewhere,” committee member Sarah Fredric says.

The toy library stocks thousands of toys, games and puzzles as well as outdoor items like bikes, swings and slides.

About 130 members patronise the library, borrowing and returning items on a regular basis during the three times a week it’s open.

Many of the toys, Fredric says, help the mental and physical development of youngsters from six months to eight years, and are quite expensive.

“I think it’s just so important for every community to have a toy library, there are so many benefits for families,” secretary Holly Dumez says.

The committee tries to keep the service affordable – six-month membership starts at $50.

Fredric: “We’ve done some figures and we can afford some rent but we can’t afford commercial rents.

“We need somewhere cheapish, please.”

She says in other centres the toy library shares space with other community groups, like Plunket, or even runs out of a garage.

Anyone who wants to help can contact the group by email