Bundaberg YMCA’s Disability Resource Centre and Toy Library program has received a welcome Christmas boost in the shape of a $10,000 grant from Bundaberg Regional Council.
The funds, approved this week and allocated under Council’s Partnerships and Sponsorships grant program, will help the YMCA continue its Toy Library programs for the 2020/21 financial year.
Melissa Avery, YMCA Toy Library School Services Coordinator, said the grant would help the service on several fronts.
“As well as funding next year’s annual World Play Day event, which didn’t happen this year because of COVID-19, this grant will enable us to revitalise our board game collection and fund staff costs to liaise and maintain relationships with play groups, family day care centres and other services,” Melissa said.
“The theme for next year’s World Play Day event in May would usually be known by now but COVID-19 has held that up.
“But it will be something based on play and the importance of play in children’s growing and learning.”
Melissa said the Disability Resource Centre and Toy Library had almost 250 members comprising families with children who have special needs, general community members, schools and organisations.
“We have more than 3000 items in our library which has grown since it was started in 1986 by parents of children with disabilities,” she said.
“We have new members joining nearly every week now that COVID restrictions are over.”
Community Services portfolio Cr Tracey McPhee said the allocation of the grant recognised the valuable service the Toy Library provided within the Bundaberg Region community.
“The Toy Library is a valuable community resource as it is the only service of its kind in the region, providing specialised equipment for people with disabilities and cost-effective play opportunities for families,” Cr McPhee said.
“Council’s corporate plan supports community programs that promote social connectedness and active and healthy community life, and YMCA’s Toy Library program is a perfect example of this.”
Melissa said many members of the public thought that the centre was either a disability resource centre or a toy library and wished to emphasise that the centre served both functions.
The YMCA Disability Resource Centre and Toy Library closes for 2020 this week but will resume operations on January 18, 2021.