Improving outcomes for children, young people and vulnerable adults by providing therapeutic play and specialised resources

We are a registered charity established May 1981, based at Harvey Start Well Centre, Bolton, with good standing in the local community. We have a trusted track record of supporting children, young people and their families to improve their outcomes.  

Our team of staff and volunteers provide welcoming ‘drop-ins’ encouraging children (0-11 years) and their families to interact in a safe play space, modelling good practice whilst building their skills.

We loan quality, learning resources and specialised resources for families, childcare settings and practitioners across Bolton within Health, Education, Social Care, settings..

Our Multi-Sensory room offers a therapeutic calming space where children can regulate their emotions and explore their environment. We are based in a Local Authority building; we signpost and network with our partners to ensure good practice and safeguarding.

We link with CVS, Bolton Together and other agencies to improve outcomes for children, young people & families.

Bolton Fund: Covid-19 Engagement Fund

Promoting good hygiene practice through the loan of resources for young families/BAME/Refuge/asylum seeker communities

We are providing 'Hygiene kits' containing puzzles, books and games to promote hand washing to reduce the spread of Covid-19. These are loaned free in settings/homes in communities across Bolton. In addition to these kits we are giving 300 free hand soaps to young families.

Job Vacancy

Bolton Toy Library is seeking to appoint an Early Years Support Worker to join our friendly team with immediate effect.

Proposed start date 11th March 2021
Salary: £3200 p.a.
Working: 5 hours per week, Thurs 9.30 - 2.30pm
Term time Fixed contract until 30th June 2022)

The successful candidate will need to have an Early Years qualification: NNEB Level 3, NVQ3, good communication skills, an enthusiastic and flexible approach to work and have the ability to offer excellent skills to support children 0-5 years in their development. An essential part of this role is to support children 2-5 years with their Emotional Health and Well Being by providing focused activities and to support children with SEND.

This role is subject to a DBS standard disclosure.

Please dowload application form here

Our Core Services

Stay, Play & Loan Sessions

Child Minders / Nurseries / Schools

Home Visits / Delivery / Collection Service

Early Years Foundation Stage Resources

Outreach Services available

Emotional Health and Well Being Drop ins

(with access to Emotional Kits to help children 2-5 years and their families who are experiencing emotional difficulties)

Special Educational Needs & Disabilities

Multi-Sensory Area / Therapeutic Play

Volunteer Opportunities

Access to information/support

Home Elected Education Support

Home Deliveries for Home and Settings

Early Years Sensory Support

Welcoming children 0-5 years with special educational needs and disabilities/additional needs. We provide therapeutic sessions in our 'multi-sensory room' where children can interact with lights and sounds, we also loan specialised resources to help their development.

Toy Library Base

We offer ’free play’ in a welcoming environment for children, parents and carers to meet, make friendships and learn vital new skills by playing together in a stimulating safe space.

The opportunity to meet others relieves social isolation, improves their emotional well-being and strengthens community.

Our skilled team deliver a confidential service supporting children’s learning using quality resources that are in-line with the Early Years Foundation Stage.

We offer a tailor-made service to children with special educational needs and disabilities of specialised resources such as fibre optic lights, sensory kits along with sound memory busy boxes etc.

Opening Times


8.30am - 5.30pm – (Appointments only)


8.30am - 4.30pm (all day 'Drop ins')


8.30am - 4.30pm (all day 'Drop ins')


9.00am – 1.00pm (Emotional Health and Well Being Drop in)

1.00pm – 4.00pm - (Appointments Only / Outreach sessions in Community Venues - contact for more details)



If you wish to visit when it's quieter to access advice and help please ring for an available appointment or email us

How to find us

Our Address:

Bolton Toy Library

Based at Harvey Start Well Centre

Shaw Street



About Us

Bolton Toy Library is a registered charity established in 1981, providing therapeutic play opportunities across the borough.

"Our ethos is to improve outcomes for children, young people and vulnerable adults by providing therapeutic play and specialised resources improving their life’s chances."

At our base we provide stimulating free play through ‘drop ins’, play & loan sessions, ‘1:1 sessions’ for parents, grand-parents, and foster carers.

Our skilled staff and volunteers offer a warm welcome; come along to one of our sessions, 'drop in', 'play & loan' and '1:1 sessions' available for families and professionals

we have a wide range of play, specialised, learning resources to meet your developments. All resources are available for loan (average 60p per week). A home delivery service is available for a small charge.

We run a range of activities including seasonal / themed events and a fundraising programme. A range of volunteer opportunities are available.

Childminders, Childcare providers, Nurseries and schools can loan specalist educational needs and disability resources, which can be delivered by our outreach team.

Group visits of children are available by appointment.

Our quality resources meet with Early Years Foundation Stage and have been acknowledged in Ofsted Reports as improving enhanced provision and learning outcomes.

Our Health & Well-being 'drop ins' offer vital support to carers, it gives a chance for a cup of tea and friendly chat with access to information.

A Big Thanks..

We would like to say a huge thank you for the continued support we recieve to keep this vital community service running.

We would like to thank the players of The National Lottery Community Fund Awards for All - for their generous award of £10,000 to support our enhanced service for 1 year; without this we would not be able to provide this vital service.
We would like to thank the continued support of Co-operative Foundation for their generous donation of £2600 from the sale of their plastic bags. The positive impact to the vulnerable babies and children have been able to access therapeutic play and loan fibre optics, interactive bubble tubes etc..
We are delighted to be awarded for Year 2 our £10,000 grant (total grant £15K for yrs 1&2). This supports our 'maternal health project' - 'drop ins provide mums who maybe experiencing feelings of depression and isolation a friendly welcome and support. A huge thank you to CVS, Bolton for distributing this grant.
We would like to offer our sincere thanks to Bolton Council for housing us in the Harvey Start Well Centre, Bolton and their financial support for small projects for (18-19).
We would also like to the thank Bolton Transformation Fund supporting Health and Care for our grant to support Carers of children, young people and vulnerable adults with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities/additional needs