The Stairgate

I visited the Stairgate, a parents’ and toddlers’ group, recently. It takes place upstairs in the Gate, a second-hand book, toy and furniture shop in Swindon town centre, on Thursday mornings from 10:30-12 (term time only).
There is a fenced area for the little people (under 4s) to play in, with a good selection of toys (my daughter Bethany loved the ride-on car); while the parents can rest on the comfy sofas with a (free) cup of tea or coffee, kindly provided by the friendly volunteers.
There is free play time, followed by crafts; a snack (usually healthy I’m told, although Bethany enjoyed the choc-chip cookie when we went); and then story and song time. All through December the crafts are Christmas related. I hear that there will be a special visitor from the North Pole on 18th December.
I felt welcomed during my visit, and there is a multicultural fix of families who attend, including British, Spanish, Portuguese and Hungarian.
There is a suggested donation of £1.
And if you have any good-quality toys that your kids have outgrown, I know that they will welcome your donations for the shop, especially at this time of year.

On three Saturdays in December (6, 13 and 20), there will be special The Lion, the Witch and the wardrobe themed live performances in the large window downstairs (all welcome to visit); with a Christian message.
The Gate is run by Dawn Prosser of Gateway Church Swindon, who also heads up the Gateway Furniture Project. For more info, contact: