THE SMILE is back on the face of a play scheme in Bulwell — thanks to a flood of support after callous thieves stole a container full of children’s toys.
The 20-foot metal storage unit was used by Bulwell Toy Library to house more than £2,000 worth of supplies and equipment.
But it was towed away from Pulley Park, off Hoewood Road, where the organisation runs activities to help children aged five to 13 enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment.
Staff members were left devastated by the theft. It is thought the freight container was taken for its scrap-metal value.
However a silver lining has arrived in the form of offers from as far afield as Canada to replace some of the toys.
The Early Learning Centre has also delivered two pallets full of toys, ranging from dolls to diggers.
A spokesman for the company said: “When we heard, we thought it was a terrible thing to happen and felt that if we could donate something, we would because this is such a good cause.
“We wanted to give something to the children.”
In a further boost, the construction company Carillion has offered to replace the stolen container and some of the items.
Steve Parkinson, who is manager of the toy library, which is based on Norwich Gardens, said: “We were feeling really low after the theft. But the support we have had is brilliant and has renewed our faith in human nature.”
The toy library is run by volunteers and relies on grant aid. Last year, there were fears it would fold.
Anyone with information about the theft, which is believed to have happened at 9.30 am on Tuesday February 8, should ring the police on 0300 3009999 and ask for Pc Alan Graham.
Alternatively, call the free and confidential Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111.