A scheme supporting hundreds of young children is expanding thanks to a funding boost from BBC Children in Need.
The Baby Equipment Loan Service and Toy Library (BELS & TL) has received a grant of £81,519 over the next three years after being chosen as one of the projects to benefit from the £49.6m raised by Children in Need.
The grant will fund two part time toy library project support workers, cover some overheads and purchase new toys.
Officials at the scheme – based in Howdon Community Centre in Denbigh Avenue – say the grant will help make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the borough.
Carol Dennison, one of the management committee members of the BELS & TL, said: “The service works towards helping each child realise his or her potential through providing a centre based toy library and regular structured play sessions.
“We hope to work with over 300 children and young people per year.”
The Toy Library was established in 2003 after a six-month pilot to assess if such a project would work.
Over the last 11 years it has worked with colleagues from various organisations around North Tyneside to ensure its services reached as many children and young people as possible.
Carol added: “With the support of BBC Children in Need, The BELS & TL will be able to continue reaching out to children and young people in North Tyneside by funding two project support workers.
“They will facilitate the operation of the Toy Library, outreach, and stay & play sessions supporting children and young people to play constructively and to learn and develop.
“We are delighted to receive the support of BBC Children in Need.
“This grant will provide facilities and opportunities for children and young people to play safely and enhance their learning potential.”
The annual BBC Children in Need appeal relies on thousands of fundraisers and supporters from throughout the countrywho donate their time and money to support the appeal.
All grants go to projects working with children and young people living in the UK who may be affected by homelessness, neglect, abuse or poverty, or those who have faced challenges in their lives such as serious illness, disabilities and psychological disorders.