THERE is an 'Aladdin's Cave' in Leominster full of toys and fun things for children. And anyone in the county can take home toys to play with.

The den of goodies at the community centre in School Road, Leominster, is the storage place of the Herefordshire Playcare Association equipment loan scheme.

The store has just been renovated and brightened up, so the association staged a celebration event and invited parents and groups along to view the equipment.

"The loan scheme is open to the whole community," said manager Julia Stephens. "It provides a great opportunity for people to access specialist play equipment without the expense of buying it themselves.

"Hire prices, we hope, are affordable, and items are available on a two-day or one-week basis."

The scheme, which has items suitable for children from birth to 15 years, has grown over 13 years. It started with just two items - a badge-making machine and a tool bag. Now there are more than 50 items including musical instruments, resources for children with special needs and large toys such as a Fun-A-Saurus, a five-piece climb-on dinosaur. The association is planning a colour brochure.

l Further information about the Playcare loan scheme is available from Julia Stephens on 01568 613789.