Variety Toy Bank
In 1994, a request was made to Variety WA for new toys to be given to children taken from domestic violence situations and sheltered in women’s refuges. The result was the formation of Toy Bank, a committee headed by the late Holly Wood, a dedicated community worker and social columnist for The Sunday Times. Toy Bank was very close to Holly’s heart, having suffered at the hands of abusive foster parents as a child growing up in Melbourne. Sadly, Holly passed away in 2009, but his legacy lives on and in March 2014, the Toy Bank Committee honoured his memory when celebrating 20 years of working with the Women’s Council.
Each year since its inception, the committee has hosted many functions and thousands of dollars’ worth of toys, games, vouchers and sporting equipment has been generously donated by those attending. In 2014 alone, it is estimated that more than $30,000 worth of items were donated.
The Variety WA Toy Bank events have become a highlight on Perth’s social calendar and regularly sell out. From inspiring guest speakers to glamorous fashion parades and gourmet food sensations, the Toy Bank Committee works tirelessly to organise unique and entertaining events. Past guest speakers have included Neil Perry, Rob Guest, the
Hon. Julie Bishop, Sigrid Thornton and Prof Fiona Woods, to name but a few.
The Toy Bank Committee works with the Women’s Council to identify important programs and projects which will provide and ongoing benefit to all children who may pass through the Refuges and channels the funds raised accordingly.
Variety, the Children’s Charity of Western Australia, is dedicated to empowering WA children in need to live, laugh and learn. Through the efforts of the volunteer Committee, Buddies, sponsors and guests, Variety WA Toy Bank makes an important contribution towards achieving this mission.
Variety and Women's Council
Variety WA is in its 35th year of operation in Western Australia. During that time it has established itself as a significant provider of assistance for children under the age of 18 with special needs and/or disadvantage. Focusing on unmet need, the children’s charity seeks to fill the gaps in support for families that are doing it tough. Variety is proud to partner with the WA Women’s Council through the Variety Toybank program. Support has included thousands of toys for displaced children and families in WA domestic violence refuges, providing Protective Behaviour resources for refuge staff, funding the Safe Kids and Family (SKAFI) app development and most recently the roll out and expansion of the Promoting Respect program in high schools.
Gallery of ToyBank pictures
Just some of the toys donated by the guests
What a view from Frasers!
Hustle and Bustle
The room was buzzing as guests mingle before the proceedings begin
Child Advocates look on
Everyone looks on as the MC, Pip, introduces guest speaker Carol from the WA Police
Carol Pulford Presents
WA Police officer, Senior Constable Carol Pulford, presents one of the most amazing speeches of the day and discusses the Saori Jones murder
Julie Jackman Presents
Julie Jackman from the Women's Council, gives a fantastic speech to guests about the Promoting Respect Project funded by Toy Bank - well done Julie!
Phil announces auction winner
Phil Croot, Program Advisor at Toy Bank, announces the winner of the auction
Angela, Michael and Judy
Angela Hartwig, CEO, Women's Council, Michael Pailthorpe, CEO, Variety WA and Judy Paioff, Chair, Toy Bank.
Three amazing ladies!
Three Child Advocates were special guests at the event
Lorren with the Child Advocates
Keeping Kids Safe project officer, Lorren, stands with the three Child Advocates
Hendricks Gin, Tonic & Cucumber
Toy Bank Sponsors: Hendricks Gin