Salfordian social enterprise organisation ‘Visit from the Stork CIC’ has announced plans for a brand new project reusing and redistributing donated toys.
The project, ‘That Toy Thing’, was instigated by social entrepreneur Kimberly Bond, who started her business in 2013. The main focus of the project is to help parents save money on toys and reduce the amount of plastic going to waste.
Ms Bond, who also studies as a Masters student at the Salford University School of Business, said:
“We’re going to take the ethics of a traditional toy library, for example a charity, that have a physical premises with donated toys that people can come and play with, and we’re going to take the business model of a subscription box and blend them together.”
Parents can choose to pay a certain amount of money, and receive a certain amount of toys to hire for the month.
For example, for £5 a month, customers will receive £20 worth of toys; for £10 a month, customers will receive £50 worth of toys; for £20 a month, customers will receive £90 worth of toys.
Ms Bond continued:
“Parents can also donate toys themselves and in return receive credits into their account to put towards hiring some new ones for their own children, all contributing to a circular economy.”
Not only does this help the parents, but the planet too.
According to a recent survey by the British Heart Foundation, 1 in 3 children in the NorthWest admitted to throwing away perfectly good toys.
Ms Bond said:
“If we can reuse [the toys] and repurpose it then that is better for the environment”
“It’s the big thing after Christmas, isn’t it – you spend hundreds of pounds on brand new toys for your kids, and then they play with them for five minutes,”
Ms Bond added: “so we want to help parents by asking them not to throw away their toys which will end up in landfill for years and years, and help them save money on toys by hiring them”.
Visit from the stork was originally set up as a young parents magazine, due to Ms Bond’s background as a journalism student.
“My best friend had my godson 10 years ago, at the age of 18, and I went through the pregnancy with her,” Ms Bond said.
“I was the one doing the research, I was the one taking her to the appointments, I was the one doing everything because she didn’t have a support system in place from her family.”
Ms Bond learned about all these different issues that young mums face, and wanted to create an organisation that would work as a support system for the mothers that don’t have one.
After three years of running the magazine, Kimberly realised that it wasn’t just young parents experiencing these issues, but mums of all ages and backgrounds.
Ms Bond said: “It’s vital that mums have support, and I’m doing it because I see mums every day and I just want to help them.”
But the project needs your help. ‘That Toy Thing’ is in desperate need of storage space, and the organisation is currently looking for a unit, a garage, a cupboard or a room of any sort.
“We’ve got mums lining up to donate toys but we can’t take them,” Kimberly said. “We’re hoping someone will gift us some storage space for a couple months to put these toys in.”
Hi @thestoreroomUK would ur #Manchester branch be willing/interested in supporting a charitable/social enterprise project by sponsoring us with some storage space 4 a few months while we try out a new idea 4 parents in Greater Manchester to save money on toys and reduce plastic?
— Kimberly Bond (@kimmeh_007) October 11, 2019
The project will have its own social media and websites by New Year this year, with its logo incorporating the much-loved Manchester bee.
Ms Bond said: “It symbolises hard work, it symbolises community it symbolises the fact that it’s made in Manchester. With the inclusion of licensed Manchester Bee in their logo, a percentage of the profit that the company makes will be donated to the i love Manchester charities.
Customers can donate toys by delivering them to the Visit from the Stork offices, or by the collection service that will be up and running by March 2020.
‘Visit from the Stork’ also runs a range of other services, including Be Open On Breastfeeding in Salford (B.O.O.B.S), which provides breastfeeding support for mothers in Salford.
The organisation is currently working towards gaining a ‘breastfeeding friendly’ status for the University of Salford, allowing mothers to breastfeed safely without judgement all over campus.
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If you’re interested in sponsoring the project, find their page on Facebook or contact the organisation by email on firstname.lastname@example.org.