Toy library’s new forever home gives the group a bright future

Headshot of Shannon Smith
Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Rainbow Coast Toy Library’s Michelle Hassell.
Camera IconRainbow Coast Toy Library’s Michelle Hassell. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

After a tough run for the Rainbow Coast Toy Library, the cherished community group has finally found its permanent home.

The group has taken over the old rooms of the Albany Playgroup, which recently closed, with the new home coming at the perfect time for the group.

After struggling for volunteers and a location, the toy library now has a bright future.

The volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation allows families to save money by borrowing toys rather than buying them.

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President Michelle Hassell said the group was lucky enough to meet the criteria to take over the playgroup building.

“It was very challenging to find a bigger, better space to operate the library from, as we required so much room permanently and couldn’t afford much in rent,” she said.

“We asked every person, organisation and school in town over the past two years and were fortunate enough to be offered an old classroom to lease at St Joseph’s College as an interim place to run the library from.

“We outgrew that room extremely quickly and heard the news that the Albany Playgroup was closing shortly after.

“We have been extremely lucky with the timing of it all as these opportunities are extremely rare.”

She said the new building had more toy-storage space, along with a kitchen, bathroom and playground. “It’s perfectly built for our library and offers families a great experience to visit as there is plenty of room to move, they can have a cup of tea and the children can play outside,” she said.

“Being an independent incorporated association, the library benefits hugely from operating from their own independent building as it makes it much more accessible for families, and we don’t ever have to move again. Having our own building means the library is now safe, secured and set up for a very long future in Albany.”

The group welcomes new members.

The library is now at 18 Chester Pass Road in Yakamia. It is open 10am-12pm Saturdays.

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