Belfast City Council will soon collect “pre-loved” toys for children in need, following a campaign by Green Party Councillor Áine Groogan.

Four Belfast City Council recycling centres will have specific containers to gather the toys, which will be distributed to approved charity partners. The toys will then either be gifted or sold at a substantially reduced rate to families in need.

Cllr. Groogan first proposed a motion calling for the scheme in November 2020 and later met with council staff to work out details. The report on the pilot scheme was approved by the Council’s People and Communities committee this evening (Tuesday).

The pilot scheme will accept a range of pre-loved toys at the Council’s recycling centres over a 3-4 week period starting this month (November).

Speaking following the committee meeting, Cllr. Áine Groogan (Botanic DEA) said: “Thousands of families across Belfast are feeling the cost of living pinch, and this scheme will help ensure that kids still get a chance to play with great toys.

“Kids can outgrow bikes, dolls and puzzles quickly. We all remember going through phases when we were young, with different toys for different points in our lives. This scheme will allow kids to share the joy from their toys with others.

“The scheme will also help reduce waste, ensuring that toys go on to be loved and used, not just chucked in the bin.

“Nobody should miss out on the chance to play because of financial uncertainty. This will be a great scheme for Belfast kids. I am really proud of having brought this plan forward, and am grateful to council staff and colleagues for their support.”

Cllr. Áine Groogan, Botanic DEA: 07823 664817, [email protected]