Sleaford Toy Library to close after 20 years due to lack of funding
THE Sleaford Toy Library will soon be packing up its toys and games for the last time after the organisers decided they can no longer afford to keep it open.
The library, which has been serving the town for the last 20 years, will close its doors for good at the end of March.
Sylvia Lawes, 83, who has managed the library in her spare time since it started said: “I’m going to really miss being here. It upsets me to think that I’ve spent 20 years of my life on this and we won’t have anything to show for it.
“There are still people coming here who have been using the library since it opened but we just can’t do it any longer.”
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The library, which has always been an entirely independent registered charity, has struggled for some years for grants to help keep it going.
Mrs Lawes said that she had approached all the big businesses in the Sleaford area asking for a donation of £600 a year in the hope that if a few agreed they would have enough funds to keep running but no-one agreed to help.
When the toy library first started they didn’t have a permanent location, making it difficult to store the toys and provide the service they desired, but then in 2001 the perfect premises were found in Boston Road.
Mrs Lawes said: “When I first viewed this place I knew it would be perfect and when I explained to the landlord what we planned to do here they agreed to never increase the rent for all the time we were here – and they kept to their word.
“That’s another reason why it’s such a shame we can’t keep going here.”
Over the years Mrs Lawes has had help from various volunteers at the library including people doing work experience and others who took pleasure in helping out.
Mrs Lawes said: “We once had a lady come and help out here after she’d suffered a breakdown. She worked here until she was well again and she really benefited from it.”
The library will stop lending out toys at the end of February so that they are all back by the end of March when they will close for good.
It has not yet been decided what will be done with all the toys and games – which total approximately 300 items, but Mrs Lawes said she would ideally like them to go to another toy library that is still active.