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Our Christmas Toy Market in Ystradgynlais

Following the success of last year’s Christmas Toy Market, our Community Development and Volunteering Lead, Jade Flynn has again worked with local organisations in Ystradgynlais to bring Christmas spirit to the community again.

 

Jade said:

“Last year’s free Christmas toy market was so successful, and helped so many people who were struggling with the cost of living that we knew we had to do it again – but this time bigger and better!”

 

Jade put a call out to Mirus staff members and her friends and family, asking them to donate any toys, children’s clothes and baby items they no longer needed.

 

 

Jade said:

“The response was unbelievable, so many people wanted to help – even local businesses donated this year, and helped us make the event really special”.

 

Mirus Locality Manager Helen along with other staff members and people supported by Mirus worked together to collect the donations, and helped Ystradgynlais Community Centre workers Emma and Bri to set up the toy market. “There were so many toys and clothes that we couldn’t fit them all on display, we had to replenish the stock multiple times during the day.”

 

 

The toy market at the Community Centre opened its doors at 10am on 6th December, and although it was originally meant to close at 3pm, Emma and Bri stayed on until 8pm because the stream of grateful parents didn’t stop!

 

Each person who visited could select as many presents, clothes and baby items as they needed to take away for free, along with a chocolate selection box. They were also given free tickets to a special showing of The Polar Express, kindly donated by The Welfare.

 

 

The Welfare also donated a fantastic raffle prize of a family ticket to see the pantomime Snow White, along with a special VIP pass to meet Santa Claus himself. The raffle raised £55 which will go towards funding the Community Centre’s ‘warm space’ that will open in January and offer community members a free warm and welcoming place to visit during the cold winter months.

 

The people who attended the toy market were extremely grateful. One person told us that she had been saving hard all year to pay for their family Christmas presents after having to use the toy market last year. Unfortunately, a couple of weeks before Christmas her washing machine developed a fault and leaked all over the floor. She had to use all of her Christmas savings to replace the washing machine and the water damaged floor. She was so thankful when she saw the Facebook advert for the toy bank a couple of days later.

 

Another young mother who had just come out of a refuge told Jade she “never thought she would have to rely on a free Toy Market to provide for her baby”, but was “so glad that the resource was there” when she needed it most.

 

The Toy Market was so busy this year, and there was hardly anything left over at the end of the day. Anything that did remain was taken to the foodbank the next day and was given away for free there.

 

Jade said:

“The amount of people who attended just shows how widespread the cost of living crisis is. Mirus were so thrilled to be able to help out people in the communities that we work in, and we look forward to continuing to offer support in the future.”

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