A service which rents toys to children in Richmond is able to expand thanks to a £15,000 grant.

Parents, carers and professionals can use Pictologue’s Toy Library scheme to avail of toys, games, books and puzzles for as little as 50p per month.

High street toys aimed at increasing language, communication and learning through play are used, which allows for the inclusion of children with special needs.

Along with this, the games available aim to enhance choice making, understanding and use of core vocabulary.

The toys are delivered all around the borough and the funding will help increase this service by bringing in click and collect, home and school deliveries and an online rental system.

Further training will be given to the scheme’s team of volunteers and toybox playgroups will be set up, led by specialist teachers and therapists.

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 grant came from the council’s Village Planning fund.

Councillor Susan Chappell, cabinet member for children’s services, said the service was a “fantastic project”.

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.”

Toy Library Locations:

Richmond Library - first Monday of each month, 10am to12pm

Twickenham Library - fourth Friday of each month, 10am to12pm

Pictologue Playroom - during opening hours throughout the week

Spring Library dates:

Friday, February 23 - Twickenham Library

Monday, March 5 - Richmond Library

Friday, March 23 - Twickenham Library