Toy Library set for new home

The East Grampians Health Service Ark Toy and Activity Centre will now been known as the Ark Toy and Activity Library.

The name change was announced at the Toy Library’s annual meeting, with the Auxiliary believing it appropriate due to the upcoming relocation to the soon to be redeveloped Community health Centre.

“In light of the relocation to the new larger area and after much discussion it became an overwhelming consensus that this is the time to change the name,” Ark Toy and Activity Library president Kaye Chamings said.

“This resonates with the lending service we provide to families and organisations in the Ararat community.”

Mrs Chamings said it had been an exciting year for the Toy Library with the notification that it would move into the EGHS Community Health Centre.

State Government funding of $4.21 million will see the Community Health Centre redeveloped over the next 12 months to incorporate Ararat Rural City Council’s Maternal and Child Health Service and the Toy Library.

“This is a positive move and will strengthen the connection we already have with maternal and child health,” Mrs Chamings said.

Mrs Chamings was returned as president of the Toy Library, with secretary Denise Calvert and treasurer Jan Ayer also returned to their positions. Other office bearers elected included vice president Anne Hedgeland, assistant secretary Di Pickering and assistant treasurer Mary Stapleton.

Guest speaker at the annual meeting was Di Bewsell, from the Victorian Inclusion Agency.

Ms Bewsell works in the Inclusion Support Program, a key component of the Government’s Child Care Safety Net, whose aim is to provide support to early childhood and education and care services to build their capacity and capability to include children with additional needs in their services.

Mrs Chamings also presented the 35th annual report of the Toy Library at the meeting.

“Time generously given by the volunteers has ensured the smooth operation of the centre throughout the past year,” she said.

“As volunteers we must continue to make sure that we are relevant to the needs of our special needs children, and adults who are in community residential care.

“We do this by providing a variety of up to date games, puzzles, toys, construction activities and equipment, that meets their needs and interests and gives enjoyment, interactive opportunities as well as enhancing the quality of their lives.”

Over the past year, Mrs Chamings said that the Auxiliary had been involved in a variety of activities.

The Auxiliary raised $400 through catering for the Ararat Performing Arts Centre’s free lunchtime concert and the annual movie afternoon at the Astor Cinema saw close to 200 people attend and $2000 raised.

The annual Christmas music day was also a great success with a large group of mums and children enjoying the music and activities provided by Christine Bulger and Nicole Potter.

Pictured Ark Toy and Activity Library secretary Denise Calvert (left) and president Kaye Chamings (right) with Di Bewsell from the Victorian Inclusion Agency