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Caerphilly social enterprise donates toys to 3000 children in two years

James Morgan, Toybox Project

A toy charity in Caerphilly that collects unwanted toys and donates them to children in need across the Valleys, has saved 9000 kg of plastic from landfill and provided 3000 children with toys since being established just two years ago.

The Toybox project, which was established by father of three, James Morgan in 2021, is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers.

Its Bedwas based warehouse currently takes in around 200-300kg of unwanted toys every week. The toys are cleaned, checked, and put on display in the warehouse ready for collection by teachers, health visitors, nurses, and social workers. They are then donated to low-income families. With the numbers of toys being collected doubling over the past two years, it is now predicted that the charity will be donating toys to 3000 children annually.

GP Practice Manager, James Morgan, 39, said: “More than 90% of all toys are made from hard plastic which cannot be recycled in the general household waste.  Many toys such as building blocks, role play sets, dolls and action figures are timeless. If they are not broken or worn, they can be passed on and enjoyed by another generation of children, rather than going into landfill, where they will remain for thousands of years.”

“As a father of three boys under 10, our house is overflowing with toys that the children have outgrown or don’t play with, and I am sure many homes across south Wales are much the same.

“I grew up in a single-parent family where I had very few toys, so I know how it feels to have nothing. So rather than throw toys away, we want to encourage people to bring them to us so we can rehome them. Amid the current cost of living pressures, it’s more important than ever to recycle items and offer unwanted toys to those who can’t afford them.”

Victoria Forsey, Health Visitor said: “Toys play a vital role in a child’s development both mentally and physically, but I visit many families where the children have very few toys to keep them stimulated. The Toybox Project is a fantastic way of sharing toys with families most in need. They are always so grateful for the gifts, especially when many families are currently struggling to pay the bills and keep food on the table, let alone buy new toys for their children.”

Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change said: “Initiatives like The Toybox Project are a brilliant idea. It’s a great example of people taking action locally to help reduce their impact on the climate.

“If everyone across Wales could do their bit by reusing unwanted toys, rather than throwing them away, it would make a huge difference to the amount of waste ending up in landfill each year. It will also go a long way to helping us to create a greener, cleaner Wales.”

Toybox Project also works in conjunction with CreateCaerphilly to recycle incomplete games or puzzles for arts and crafts; with Repair Café Wales to repair any broken electrical or wooden toys; and with Sauring Supersaurus to recycle plastic toys that are broken beyond repair into jewellery and household items.