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Christmas toy swap organised by Derry mum is taking place today

Community organisations have come together to organise the event on a grand scale

Toys to knock their small socks off this Christmas

the toy swap is taking place today

A local mum has organised a festive toy swap after seeing how many toys get sent to landfill each year.

Catherine Pollock got the idea after she successfully collected second hand toys for her kids last Christmas.

“I was shocked by the amount perfectly good toys in the charity shops," she said.

"So many they even had signs up saying ‘No more Toys’ and I felt guilty about the potential waste in my own house and I promised myself I would try to be more creative."

Catherine put posts on Facebook listing the types of toys she was looking for and offered to pay for them or swap for homemade beeswax wraps. 

"The response was amazing," she recalled.

" People I didn’t even know were messaging and offering me the most amazing toys. 

"We had a puppet show, dolls, lego pirate ship and a wooden kitchen that my friends in McGarrigle Signs personalised for my daughter. 

"I realised that people were happy to pass on toys knowing that someone else would love them.

"So this year I decided I would ask my old colleagues in the Triax area to help me organise a swap on a larger scale.”Donna McCloskey (Manager of Triax Neighbourhood Management Team) said:“Cleaner, safer environments and recycling are some of our key targets so we were delighted to help. 

"People are ready for events like this because of all the news about Climate Change and the scale of plastic waste in land fill and the ocean.”

Laura McGuinness from Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum added:“It’s also about teaching our children good habits. "If receiving and passing on pre loved toys is normal for them then hopefully that will translate to other areas of their lives and they will become natural recyclers and considerate consumers. 

"It can also help reduce the pressure to spend money you don’t have. 

"We work with lots of families in financial need and I hope they will benefit from an event like this.”

The event is open to the public today, Tuesday November 19 from 1pm – 7pm. 

£2 entry if you‘ve donated toys, £5 if you haven’t. 

Toys will be marked on a points basis. First entry gets you 10 points of toys, £2 for every additional 10 points.

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