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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Council launches pre-loved toys scheme for fourth year across Mid & East Antrim

This Christmas, why not give those unwanted and pre-loved toys lying around the house to families who may find this time of year more challenging?

For the fourth year running, Council is working in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, East Belfast Mission (Restore) and local community groups including Larne Community Care Centre Group and Victoria Evangelical Church and Carrick Community Form to deliver a toy donation scheme.

The project will run between Monday 31 October and Saturday 10 December.

Christmas containers are being set up at five household recycling centres and three leisure centres across Mid and East Antrim - with an additional drop off point at Carrickfergus Enterprise - so pre-loved toys can be given a new home this festive season.

Details and times for drop-off are:

Ballymena area:

• Waveney Road HRC, Ballymena

Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm

Seven Towers Leisure Centre

Larne area:

• Redlands HRC, Larne

Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm

• Larne South HRC, Islandmagee

Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm

• Glenarm HRC

Wednesday and Saturday, 9am – 5pm

• Larne Leisure Centre

Carrickfergus area:

• Sullatober HRC, Carrickfergus

Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm

Sunday 1pm – 5pm

• Amphitheatre Leisure Centre

Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Noel Williams, said:

“We hope that through this scheme more perfectly good toys will be re-used rather than thrown away. We are supporting the waste hierarchy, which promotes prevention of waste and re-using, where possible.

“The ideal toys we would be looking for would be: kids bicycles, scooters, plastic seesaws, small plastic slides, games, vtech toys, jigsaws, books, dolls, robots, most plastic/wooden toys in good working order. Unfortunately we cannot accept soft plush toys such as teddy bears.”

Site attendants and leisure centre staff will direct residents to the Christmas Toy Container at each site. Council will then donate the toys to local charities, who will provide access to the public to purchase them at a very reasonable price. They will also be donated to local community centres, who will gift them to families across the Borough.

Isobel Kerr, Habitat for Humanity, said:

“We are delighted to be part of the Christmas Toy Container, as this time of year can be so challenging for families on low incomes. We look forward to being able to offer families the opportunity to secure good, quality toys at low cost.”

A spokesperson for East Belfast Mission, added:

“Larne Restore are delighted to be part of this great partnership at a time when we should all be thinking of others.”

Over 8.5 million toys are thrown away each year in the UK. In 2021, Council diverted over 2.5 tonne of toys from landfill and gifted to local communities. Council is aiming to exceed this figure this Christmas, which will help reduce landfill, protect the environment and help others.

If you have any queries please contact or alternatively phone 0300 124 5000, Option 0.


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