Children’s charity the ‘Toy Project’ searching for new home

PUBLISHED: 09:24 06 July 2016 | UPDATED: 09:24 06 July 2016

Lilly Lambert, one of the volunteers, sorts through some donations

Lilly Lambert, one of the volunteers, sorts through some donations


A children’s toy charity is looking for a new home after it was hit by flooding for the fourth time in three years.

Volunteer Jess Doyle sorting out the surplus of donationsVolunteer Jess Doyle sorting out the surplus of donations

The “Toy Project” in Durham Road, Finsbury, was one of many businesses hit by the heavy rainfall two weeks ago, seeing much of its stock of toys ruined.

“The main damage was to cardboard puzzle boxes and games boxes,” said Jane Garfield, co-founder of the charity.

“The plastic and wooden toys got covered in black slime from the pipes and had to be cleaned.”

The Toy Project was set up by Jane in 2013 in an effort to recycle old unwanted toys and redistribute them to children in need, in Islington and the surrounding areas.

Builder Cliff Lawrence gets more than he bargained for trying to fix the leakBuilder Cliff Lawrence gets more than he bargained for trying to fix the leak

And the most recent flooding has seen her ramp up efforts to find a new home for the charity, with the premises already at breaking point before the flood hit.

“We have completely outgrown the space,” she told the Gazette.

“With toy collections being held in schools all over the borough, in shops, pubs, cafes, theatres, the hospital and the farm, we are bursting at the seams. In a perfect world, we would have premises that had a storage area for the toys and a welcoming area for people to choose their toys, with somewhere to plumb in a washing machine so that we can wash [the toys] on site. We have to move and we have to move soon!”

Now Jane is looking for any nearby schools or businesses with spare storage space to get in touch with her, as the charity desperately needs all the help it can get.

One of the overcrowded rooms at the current locationOne of the overcrowded rooms at the current location

“We’re not fussy,” she said. “It needs to be safe as our volunteers often work in the evenings, and it has to be on the ground floor as we have hundreds of bags in and out all week long. We’re providing a fabulous service to Islington and further afield, too. Please help!”

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