Toy library service boosted with £15,000 from Village Planning Fund

Release Date: 06 February 2018

A service which provides accessible toys and games to local children, including those with communication needs and disabilities, has been awarded £15,000, through the first round of Richmond Council’s Village Planning Fund, enabling them to expand their service.

Pictologue’s Toy Library scheme currently offers carefully recommended high street toys which increase language, communication and learning through play. These are made available together with unique Pictologue packs which include a board with a selection of pictures that match the game to enhance choice making, understanding and use of core vocabulary. This facilitates the inclusion of children who have communication needs and improves play and interaction between siblings, peers and friends valuing the individual differences between all children.

New funding will support an increase in the service across the borough including new delivery services such as click and collect, home and school deliveries and establishing an online rental management system.

It will further help to train a dedicated team of volunteers and set up toybox playgroups within the community led by specialist teachers and therapists.

Cllr Susan Chappell, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said:

“This is a fantastic project to help foster friendships and understanding between children with special needs, their friends and their siblings. I am delighted we have been able to support them in their efforts to improve the lives of so many children in our borough.” 

Cllr David Linnette, Cabinet Member for the Voluntary Sector said:

“I hope the funding will help Pictologue increase their service across the borough, and give more training to their wonderful volunteers, so they continue to bring joy to more children and families.”

Bethan de Mel, Founder of Pictologue, said:

"We are so excited to be able to develop and expand our toy library service in this way. We love to provide more resources and opportunities for successful interactions, increasing support and facilitating inclusion of children who have communication needs so that they can enjoy playing and learning together with family and friends every day."

The Village Planning Fund is a portion of the Community Infrastructure Levy, a tax collected by Richmond upon Thames Council and paid by developers to meet the impact of developments on physical and social infrastructure in local areas.

The project is one of sixteen to be funded through this first round of the Village Planning Fund.

Notes for editors

If you are a journalist and would like further information about this press release, contact Lyle Skipsey on 020 8487 5182. 

Reference: P063/18

Updated: 2 March 2018