'Little Free Toybox' now at People's Park

Dessie Blackadder

Reporter:

Dessie Blackadder

A ‘Little Free Toybox’ has been provided in Ballymena’s People’s Park.

The idea behind the concept is simple – a passer by can lift a toy to play with or leave a toy for someone else.

Deputy Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Matthew Armstrong said: “I am delighted to see the first ‘Little Free Toybox’ in the Borough installed at People’s Park and pupils from Ballymena Primary already enjoying it.

“This is will be a great addition to the park and the wider community.

“I hope it will provide children and young people with more play resources and the opportunity to play, relax and reconnect with others after what has been a difficult year for everyone.

“The Toybox can also encourage sharing and creative, imaginative play, as well as potentially going some way to help reduce waste going to landfill as toys are essentially being recycled.

“I’d like to extend my thanks to the Children and Young People’s Strategic Partnership Local Planning Group (CYPSP LPG) Antrim and Ballymena, who funded the project, as well as thanks to our own Council Officers and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT) who co-ordinated the project, with support from a local artist and Ballymena Primary School.”

Lynsey McVitty, Health and Wellbeing Officer (NHSCT) and CYPSP LPG member said: “This Toybox is a great example of the ‘Take 5’ steps to Wellbeing. Installed in a local park the Toybox gives users a chance to connect with the natural environment and other park users.

“It encourages children to get involved in play by picking up a new toy, all the while giving and supplying the local community access to toys and new play opportunities. We were delighted to work with Council on this creative initiative and to see it so well used already.”

Parents/guardians are responsible for supervising children when using the Little Free Toybox and for appropriate sanitation before and afterwards.

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