Adam Echhaibi, 2, tries out an interactive play panel at the toy
council-run centre which provides play and care facilities for
children is celebrating the first anniversary of its successful
toy library, which now has about 100 registered users.
toy library provides a drop-in and borrowing service at the
Distillery centre, in Distillery Lane, Hammersmith, on Tuesdays
and Thursdays between 10.30am and 12.30pm during term-time.
Parents or carers of children aged under five can browse through
the catalogue of more than 100 toys with their children and
choose what they want for loan and play at home. Children can
try out the toys during the sessions and items can be borrowed
for up to a month. The stock includes puzzles, construction
toys, toy musical instruments and toys suitable for children
with special educational needs.
A variety of arts and crafts activities also run during the
toy library sessions, when children also try out some of the
other new facilities at the Distillery centre, including:
Multi-sensory room with soft play equipment, visual and tactile
toys, including fibre optic tubes, a musical panel for children
to press and trigger up to 200 different sounds as well as a projector
with rotating coloured discs - excellent relaxing play, especially
for disabled children or mothers and babies.
- Ball room. A soft-walled space full of balls for up to four
children aged under eight to play in at a time.
- Sensory garden. An outdoor area, featuring plants and grass
selected for their texture, smell and sound.
initiatives at the Distillery centre include dance and music tuition,
sessions for children with special educational needs, regular
visits by the Sure Start Broadway librarian, as well as Sure Start
baby massage and speech & language therapy sessions.
The centre is among six which were established by the council
in April 2001 following a review of the play service in the borough.
The other five centres are the White City and Coningham centres,
both in W12; Bradmore and Fulham Cross centres, in W6, and Castle,
During term-time the Distillery centre offers after-school care,
learning and play facilities for schoolchildren aged five to 12.
Childcare and an exciting range of activities are also provided
during school holidays. The service also runs at four school-based
centres. Distillery was one of eight centres to receive the top
'good' rating from Ofsted in recent inspection reports. Two centres
have yet to be quality inspected.
See, manager of the Distillery centre, said: "It has been
a really good year for the Distillery centre. The toy library
has gone from strength to strength and the extra facilities have
added a new dimension to the service we provide. The toys and
equipment help children's physical and educational development
and are great fun. The multi-sensory room is a positive environment
for mothers and their babies or children with additional needs."
The borough's mayor, Cllr Charlie Treloggan, who joined parents,
carers and their children at today's toy library celebration,
said: "Our improved play service is responding to the needs
of all children in the community and their parents or carers.
These are fantastic new facilities which have helped children,
including those with a range of needs, to get the most out of
learning and playing at the centre.
Our play service is providing high quality, professional facilities
and care, with eight out of ten centres recently gaining the top
'good' rating in their Ofsted inspections."
For general inquiries about out-of-school care and activities
phone 020 8753 3786 or visit the council's
Parents or carers who want to find out if they are entitled to
help with the cost of childcare, nursery and play services through
the government's tax credits scheme can phone 0845 300 3900 or