Jura toy library a lifeline to parents and children

The latest edition of BIG Magazine is out now. It’s full of inspiring stories of how our funding is having a huge impact on people, families and communities across the country. We’ve travelled the length and breadth of Scotland and met some fantastic people including a library with a difference on Islay.

Kirsten McLellan
Kirsten McLellan

Based in Bowmore, the Islay and Jura toy library has become a lifeline to many parents and children on the island. Curator of fun, Kirsten McLellan shared her diary for a week in the life of a toy library.


Started with a production meeting in Bowmore.  We spent the morning discussing our Children’s Summer Activities leaflet.  The open play session in the afternoon had two families attending with two babies and one toddler.


I sorted out the toys for a toddler water play session in Port Charlotte that was organised for the following day.  Having filled the van with a selection of toys, the water tray and refreshment boxes, I delivered them to a volunteer’s house.  Later, we welcomed a new member to the afternoon’s play session who came to choose a toy for her toddler.


I left home to drive to Port Ellen for the seashore session with Port Ellen Toddler Group.  I remembered to take my wellies and spare towel, as well as tissues and sun cream in case anyone forgot their own.  After this I drove to Port Charlotte to check on the toddler water play session and had a catch up with the volunteer who was taking the session to check how it was going, then it was back to Bowmore for the afternoon open play session.


Returned all the water play toys from Port Charlotte back into our store and then sorted out toys, games and resources for the next day’s trip to Jura toddlers’ group.


I headed in the van to Port Askaig to catch the ferry across to Jura. The Jura mums are always very welcoming and pleased that we have continued to support them on a fortnightly basis rather than our previous monthly visit. In the afternoon it was our Little Angels Nursery where the children come in to swap their toys. Then it was back to Islay and Bowmore to clean and check all the swapped toys and return them to the store so we can do it all again next week.

You can have a read of BIG magazine on the Big Lottery Fund website.

Or request a copy, email pressteam.scotland@biglotteryfund.org.uk

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