The grants will help a wide range of community groups, including sports clubs, arts organisations and youth groups, bring to life projects which support the health and well being of those hardest hit by the pandemic. Some of the other organisations to receive a grant in Glen Eira include Caulfield and District Netball Association, St Paul's McKinnon Junior Football Club, Maccabi Caulfield FC, Flying Fox Services and the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia, Victoria.
Carnegie Toy Library, located at Koornang Park, has served families in the local area for more than 33 years, and cater for children aged six months to early primary.
President Leonie Cavagna told Glen Eira News that the toy library relies on membership fees and grants to keep operating, so opportunities like the VicHealth grant are extremely important to them.
"We're always looking to improve the toy library and its collection," she said.
"Our Co-ordinator Eleanor put in a fantastic application for this grant, which focused on promoting healthy activities. As a result, we were successful in receiving a grant for $3,000."
Physical activity is a key health priority area and important for all population groups (including children) within our community to assist with improved physical and mental health outcomes.
Leonie said sport and active toys are among the most popular with members, as these items are often too expensive or too large to keep easily at home without creating more clutter.
"We are planning to purchase some new micro-scooters, balance bikes and trikes for younger children, as well as more bowling sets, junior basketball setc, mini golf sets and more mini trampolines which are extremely popular," she said.
"Many of our members join the toy library to access good quality toys like this - particularly now as we're all spending more time outdoors after months of lockdown and too much screen time."
Leonie said when COVID-19 hit, the toy library immediately began searching for ways it could continue to support its members and encourage learning through play in a COVID-safe manner.
"We found a click-and-collect option was possible, and we were able to offer this to our members in June 2020. We successfully ran this service until restrictions eased and we could reopen, but then the second COVID wave hit and we were back to click-and-collect," she said.
Leonie said it was a great feeling to open the doors in November 2020 and welcome families back inside the toy library.
"Operating in a COVID-safe way, with measures such as checking in, masks and sanitising, means it's still a little different, but our members are very grateful to be back browsing the aisles and discovering fun new toys for their children," she said.
- Glen Eira News Digital Edition, Monday March 1st 2021.