A Toy Giveaway had a great turnout as children were invited to pick up free books, games, play equipment and toys which had been refurbished by Plymouth Community Homes (PCH).
The popular event saw dozens of families visit The Beacon Community Centre in North Prospect for the second giveaway event organised by PCH, which is the largest social housing association in Plymouth.
A range of toys left behind by previous tenants had been refurbished by PCH’s Re-use Centre, which is dedicated to rehoming and recycling unwanted items collected from its properties, with some ending up as good as new.
Staff based at the centre in Burrington Way washed and sterilized over 100 toys of different sizes so they could be given out free of charge to local children at the community hub in the heart of North Prospect. Children picked up items including skateboards, bikes, guitars and books as well as toys for all ages from four months to 14 years.
Many new faces attended the Toy Giveaway at The Beacon, which is open to residents, local businesses and the wider community for all to enjoy. Each week there are a variety of community sessions including Gardening classes, Craft Mornings and Tea and Toast get-togethers in the community café.
Over 50 children attended the toy event at The Beacon, the second giveaway held by PCH this year, and were all delighted with what they were able to take home.
Harley Swabey, age four, who is a regular visitor to The Beacon was so happy to be at the Toy Giveaway and couldn’t contain his excitement.
He said: “This is the best day ever! I always wanted a skateboard and now I finally have one.”
The Re-use Centre staff were delighted to see their time and effort spent cleaning and repairing toys made the visiting children so happy at the start of their summer holidays.
Donna Vickers, Environmental Services Chargehand at PCH at Re-use Centre, said: “Both Toy Giveaways have proven to be such great events. The smiles on the faces of the children were priceless, and we had such good feedback from the adults too.
“I read a quote somewhere which said, ‘putting a smile on a child’s face can change the world, maybe not the whole world but at least their world’ and it is great to be a small part of something that can make such a difference to these youngsters.”
PCH hopes to organise another Toy Giveaway later this year.
Louise Turner, Head of Property, Safety and Environmental Services at PCH, said: “Donna and the Re-use Centre team have been working tirelessly to ensure the toys are cleaned, and for events like the Toy Giveaway at The Beacon to happen.
“The children who attended both Toy Giveaway events looked so pleased with the toys they took away, and this would not be possible without the staff going above and beyond to give something back to the community.”
Other staff from PCH helped hand out the toys, including Martin Hillier, Ranger; Louise Bolton, Facilities Supervisor, and Sally Foden, Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development.
Sally Foden, Head of HR at PCH, said: “Helping at the Toy Giveaway was lovely, and such a great reminder for all of us staff of why we do what we do. My favourite part of the day was chatting to Harley and seeing his delight at having a skateboard - and then high fiving everyone.”
PCH residents facing financial hardship can approach their Housing Officer to ask about the Re-Use centre, which can also provide furniture, kitchen appliances and white goods to residents in need.