The Baby Equipment Loan Service & Toy Library (BELS & TL) is a charity responding to local needs since 1985. The Project provides, for loan at minimal cost, essential items of baby and safety equipment e.g. buggies, cots and highchairs to families on low income or benefits living in North Tyneside. In 2003 we established a Toy Library for children 0 to 15 years of age, stocking it with safe, educational, age appropriate, stimulating and fun items.
The Project delivers these services by opening set hours each week:
- When customers can come into the Project to hire baby and safety equipment (delivery service available if necessary).
- When children, parents and carers can access all of the toys, games and other play equipment
In order to ensure that many children receive the benefits of the Toy Library, we run Outreach Sessions to groups who might find it difficult in accessing our main site. The Staff take a selection of toys and games for children and parents to choose for their month’s loan. The Staff also take along a catalogue to show those attending Outreach Sessions what is available from the BELS & TL.
During the past two year we have developed Stay & Play Sessions to groups of children and young people in various venues in North Tyneside. The Stay & Play sessions for 0-5 year olds encourage parent/carer participation and include themed play, educational and fun activities. Sessions for older children are devised depending upon their needs and wishes. We support children and young people to improve and develop cognitive skills and to increase their confidence and self esteem as well as promote membership and regular use of the toy library.