‘Toys Change Lives’ is a toy workshop with a difference.
TCL, as it is proudly called by the Team here at Toys Change Lives, is a workshop staffed by Indigenous youth who have been released from Juvenile Justice Detention Centers, or who have had a brush with the Justice System and are believed to be ‘At Risk’.
TCL is an employment pathway run by the Keeping Our Freedom Youth Indigenous Corporation, a Not-For-Profit that was founded by Peter Boughey of Casino in 2014. ‘Pastor’ Pete has been a Chaplain at Grafton’s Juvenile Detention Centre (ACMENA) for over 14 years, and in that time saw the same youth come back through the Centre time-and-again. In 2014 Pete took it upon himself to offer these youths a project when they got out of ACMENA – building wooden toys in his garage.
From this humble beginning, wherein the youths took these basic toys and decorated them with beautiful Indigenous decorations, TCL has evolved into a proper little workshop and gallery located in 112 Walker Street, Casino. Our little shop now boasts beautiful handmade boomerangs, didgeridoos, Indigenous artworks, wooden jewellery, educational maps and of course our signature item…TOYS!
Employing two full-time mentors and a number of youths, fully waged, TCL has created a culturally meaningful employment pathway that is successfully reducing recidivism. Re-offending is a massive problem in our community. With around 75% of youth released from regional juvenile justice centres re-offending at least once in their future. The current solutions don’t seem to be working. That’s where TCL comes in; we’re here providing practical, proven, grass-roots solutions to give Indigenous youth a fresh track to take.A life put on the right track means one less youth in detention, one more youth being a healthy role-model to his peers, one more youth contributing their craft back to their culture and community.
We are always looking for volunteers to staff our local market stalls across the Northern Rivers. Our goal is to have market stalls at the following markets by the end of 2019: Lismore Carboot, The Channon Craft Market, Byron Community Market, Nimbin Markets, Bangalow Markets and Yamba Community Market.We are also very grateful to receive donations of timber – off-cuts of softwoods are perfect for what we do here at Toys Change Lives.
We are a registered Not-For-Profit, with Charity Status, making all donations fully tax-deductible.
You can find Toys Change Lives at 112 Walker Street, Casino. The Workshop and Gallery are open Monday-Friday from 9:30am-4:30pm. We also have an online store, Instagram and Facebook pages @toyschangelives, email at email@example.com or feel free to give Peter Boughey a call on 0428 662 517.
Toys really can change lives.