Storage King Rolleston owners Chris (left) and Ayyam O’Brien, with Rolleston Toy Library President Fiona Morland and Fundraising Officer, Robyn Mears (right)

Rolleston Toy Library gets boost

by Mike Isle

The Rolleston Toy Library project is a step closer to becoming a reality, thanks to a generous boost from local business owners, Chris and Ayyam O’Brien, of Storage King Rolleston.

The pair have offered the library free hire of one of their 6m x 3m storage units for two years. Chris and Ayyam have also offered the use of one of their delivery trucks for toy deliveries.

Rolleston Toy Library publicity and promotions officer, Michelle Sim said the offer was a real boost for the library and local parents.

“What this means is that the toy library committee is taking the initiative online. Members will be able to browse the toy collection and submit orders via a website. Toys will be housed in the storage unit at Storage King, and orders will be delivered weekly to a central collection point in Rolleston,” she said.

“The team are incredibly excited — it’s the single biggest breakthrough we’ve had yet. We are enormously grateful to Chris and Ayyam for giving us the break we’ve been hoping for and enabling us to forge ahead with an online toy library. In an age of online shopping, an online toy library shouldn’t be that much of a leap, yet there aren’t many precedents in New Zealand.”

Sim said the Rolleston Toy Library Committee know of only one other that operates purely online. While the ultimate goal is still to open a full-functioning toy library, in the interim, an online version will mean that Rolleston families will have access to this fantastic service much sooner than would otherwise be possible. For Chris and Ayyam, supporting community initiatives, groups and organisations is a core part of their business philosophy.

“We have always had a community-minded approach to everything we do,” says Chris O’Brien, “whether it be using local businesses for purchases and services, hiring from the amazing talent pool we have right here in Selwyn, helping residents (current and future) with their moving and storage needs, or simply helping create communities that are positive to live, work and play in.”

Michelle Sim said there is still a significant amount of work ahead for her hard-working committee before the new online toy library is open for business.

“Toys and packaging need to be sourced, a website set up, labelling, cataloguing completed, and a membership system established. Much of this, of course, requires funds, so the committee is continuing its fundraising efforts, including planning for a community market day in November.

“However, with the impetus of the Storage King offer we’ll be tackling all this with renewed vigour, now that the biggest obstacle has been overcome,” she said.

Keep up to date with progress of the toy library project by following their Facebook page facebook.com/RollestonToyLibrary.