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Coronavirus: Layla, 9, gives unwanted books and toys to children self-isolating

PUBLISHED: 18:59 18 March 2020

Layla, 9, is trying to help keep other children entertained by giving away her unwanted books and toys. Picture: KATE PICKERING

Layla, 9, is trying to help keep other children entertained by giving away her unwanted books and toys. Picture: KATE PICKERING

KATE PICKERING

A nine-year-old girl from Ipswich who is self-isolating at home with her family is giving away all her old books and toys to help others amid the coronavirus crisis.

Layla Pickering, aged 9, is putting books and games out on her doorstep for other children who have to self-siolate. Picture: KATE PICKERINGLayla Pickering, aged 9, is putting books and games out on her doorstep for other children who have to self-siolate. Picture: KATE PICKERING

Layla Pickering is staying at home with her two brothers after one of them began to show symptoms of the disease, known as COVID-19.

But instead of watching TV, Layla is trying to bring the people in her street together by offering old books she has read and some second-hand toys to other children.

She has designed a sign which reads ‘free books and toys for people in isolation’ – with whiteboard pens for people to write a message if they take an item.

Layla’s mum Kate, who is a personal progress coach but is also self-isolating at home, said her daughter wanted to do something to help entertain others who might be bored.

Kate Pickering's three children are self-isolating after showing symptoms of coronavirus. Picture: KATE PICKERINGKate Pickering's three children are self-isolating after showing symptoms of coronavirus. Picture: KATE PICKERING

The mum-of-three said: “It’s really worrying what’s happening, but it’s great to see people coming together.

“Layla knows how hard it is going to be to stay entertained, so wants other children to have the chance to enjoy the books she has already read.”

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Kate’s neighbour’s children are also in self-isolation and have decided to do the same thing as Layla, with a similar stand and sign at their home in Fountains Road.

Laylla, 9, wants to help other children keep entertained. Picture: KATE PICKERINGLaylla, 9, wants to help other children keep entertained. Picture: KATE PICKERING

The books and toys were originally going to charity, but due to the coronavirus pandemic Kate said this was a better idea for the time-being.

The stall in their driveway includes a range of children’s books such as Where’s Wally, some dinosaur figurines, wrestlers and other bits and bobs.

There is no face-to-face contact necessary as the children watch from the window as people take a look at the stand.

Speaking of the idea, Layla said: “I did it for children who are bored and have nothing to do.”

Layla's neighbours have also joined in on the idea. Oliver aged 12 (left) and Joesph (aged 6). Picture: KATE PICKERINGLayla's neighbours have also joined in on the idea. Oliver aged 12 (left) and Joesph (aged 6). Picture: KATE PICKERING

Already people have been adding their own books to the stand for people to take away and enjoy.

Meanwhile, in other areas of the community a local musician is live-streaming his performances to care homes across East Anglia in order to prevent face-to-face contact.

MORE: Singer broadcasts live to care homes to ‘bring light in time of darkness’ during coronavirus

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