Lending Library Terms and Conditions

February 1, 2022
by Rachel

Sparkle Sheffield Lending Library – Terms and Conditions


Sensory input is an integral part of an autistic person’s life, but this often comes at a financial cost (Trentacosta et al., 2018). Resources are often costlier than toys that neurotypical children would play with and there is no guarantee that children will enjoy a specific item.

Additionally, there is also such a wide range of resources available to purchase, parents are unable to purchase all items to try. The Sparkle Sheffield lending library will enable children and families to experience resources prior to undertaking an often-hefty financial output. This is especially useful regarding the uncertainty of the current world, whereby Autistic children and young people are experiencing increased levels of anxiety which specialist resources can help to alleviate. By using a lending library scheme, this enables families costs to be minimised while allowing children and families to experience a range of resources before purchasing items for themselves.


How will it work?

The Sparkle Sheffield lending library will be run by volunteers. Resources (including toys and books) will be available for families to loan for a fixed period of time, to enable individuals to benefit from a wide range of materials without having to pay often high associated costs. The use of the lending library is free for all families who are gold or platinum subscribers of the Sparkle Sheffield Membership Scheme. Bronze, silver and non-members are also able to loan our equipment for a small fee.


Loan periods will be for 2-weeks (14 days) per resource/book. Extensions on the length of loan times will be considered on an individual basis – considering any waiting lists and/or individual circumstances however, this will not exceed 4 weeks (28 days) per item*. This is to ensure that as many children and families can benefit from the lending library as possible.


Families are permitted to request repeat loaning of the same item; however, resources must be returned to Sparkle Sheffield for a period of at least 1 week (7 days) between any re-loan to ensure that the item/s remain safe to use and fully in-tact.


A waiting list will be in operation for popular items that numerous families wish to loan. Where items have a wait list, the loan period for current families with the items will not be extended over 2-weeks (14 days)*.


Available Resources

A list of current resources and books is available via the Sparkle Sheffield website. All resources are owned by the charity and always remain the property of Sparkle Sheffield. New resources will be added to the library as they become available. Due to wear, tear and accidental damage, some resources may become unavailable until they are repaired/replaced.


Resources will be delivered to family’s homes by one of our volunteers. Upon delivery, a parent/carer will be required to sign to say they have received the loan items. Resources will then by re-collected by a Sparkle Sheffield volunteer at the end of the designated loan period.


*Covid-19 precautions

Resources will be cleaned with an antibacterial solution between each loan period. Any soft furnishings will be washed with a non-bio washing powder between each loan period. This will take place as a standard protocol in order to maintain hygiene and cleanliness.


In addition, if a family has a confirmed case of Covid-19 during the loan period of any of the resources, Sparkle Sheffield must be informed as soon as possible (but no later than the pre-arranged collection date) via email at [email protected]. Collection of the resources will then be delayed until the isolation period for the family/individual has ended. Upon collection, resources will then be cleaned as previously identified, and stored for at least 72 hours until being sent out on loan to another family.


Loss and/or Damage

When receiving resources, families are responsible to ensure the equipment is well cared for and looked after while in their possession.


If an item is lost, members must email [email protected] as soon as possible, and no longer than 48-hours after noticing that the item is missing. If the item is suspected to have been stolen, members must inform the police of this theft via 101 or online at https://southyorks.police.uk/contact-us/report-something/ (for non-South Yorkshire addresses please visit https://www.police.uk/pu/contact-the-police/report-a-crime-incident/ to find your local authority) as soon as possible. Members must then inform Sparkle Sheffield of the crime reference number.


We understand that accidental damage may occur due to the nature of the children and families that we support. In these cases, we will be understanding and empathetic. However, we do ask that members inform us of any damage as soon as possible via email at [email protected] so that we are aware upon collection of the resources.


Use of Equipment / Resources

All equipment must be stored and used as per any manufacturer’s recommendations and/or instructions. Any instructions that came with the original purchase of equipment will be laminated and included within the loan to ensure that members have suitable information regarding usage. Parents/carers remain responsible for supervising their child/ren at all times while using the loan equipment.


Sparkle Sheffield do not accept responsibility for any of the following;


  • Damage to any of your own property whilst equipment is on loan
  • Any injuries that may occur during the use of any equipment if used incorrectly and against manufacturer recommendations.