We’ve been doing this since 1972. That’s quite a long time!
We started providing services to the Lewisham community in 1972. Lewisham Toy Library was originally set up to support childminders and operated as a drop-in session in various community and church halls. Later, these sessions were expanded to parents and carers as well. Over the years we did outreach for childminding groups where we visited one group per week to supply them with a choice of toys. The Toy Library holds nearly 4,000 different toys and the outreach work was very limited to what fitted in a car and eventually the outreach operation become unsustainable. So, in 2006 the model transformed, and Lewisham Toy Library became a satellite library in Deptford, lending toys and running stay and play sessions. After 2008 we secured a space in Rushey Green, Catford and then in 2016 we moved to Lewisham Shopping Centre and are still there today!
The fundamental purpose of the Lewisham Toy Library has stayed the same since 1972. Our aim is to support and provide for the play and education of children within the London Borough of Lewisham by providing stimulating toys and play equipment. Members can borrow toys and keep them for up to 4 weeks. We cater for children from 0 up to around the age of 8. Our range of toys is vast and our toys represent the diverse community we operate in, such as positive awareness dolls, dolls with different ethnicities, positive awareness jigsaws, multicultural dressing up clothes and multicultural food. We have toys for visually impaired children, children on the autistic spectrum and other special needs. We also have Bag Books which are multisensory stories that are very good for all children especially those whose first language is not English.
The Lewisham Toy Library is run by a board of trustees, chaired by Justine, and we meet every month to ensure the Toy Library continues to run smoothly and for the benefit of our local community. The Library itself is managed by a Librarian, Magdalena, who knows all the toys and can always help you with ideas and recommendations. We are always looking for new trustees and volunteers so do get in touch if you are looking to get involved.
You can view our Terms and Conditions of membership here.
We are really proud that we pay the London Living Wage.