Toys & Teamwork: How We Overcame a Flood with Community Spirit!

Christmas 2023 was an extremely busy time for us here at Farm Toys – but not in the way it usually is with us plugging away to get your Christmas present orders ready for your little ones.

Thanks to a not-so-little storm Ciaran, we faced an unexpected challenge that tested our teamwork and resilience – a flood that threatened to wash away our entire inventory.

Our warehouse over in Lopen (a little village nestled in South Somerset) seemed to take the brunt of the storm and wasn’t prepared for the heavy rainfall that flooded our surrounding fields.

Before we knew it, the water was flowing in, Julia and the rest of our team had their wellies on, and the race against time began – we had Christmas orders to fulfil, after all!

The Aftermath of the Storm

Unfortunately for us, there was no calm after the storm.

Much of our stock on the lower level of our warehouse was fully exposed to the floodwater. We watched horrified as water levels hit the Britains, Siku, and Schleich stock on the lower shelves.

The cardboard boxes housing a good chunk of our inventory became soggy and weak, and the toys inside were unsaleable.

We worked as hard as we could to assess the damage and salvage what we could, hoping to resume operations.

However, we quickly realised we'd have to put all orders on hold. As a small business, the weeks leading up to Christmas are the most crucial time of the entire year. This decision was particularly devastating for us!

Working Hard to Fulfil 700+ Christmas Orders

If anyone knows us, they’ll know that we never give up, especially when our customers are counting on us!

Even though we put a hold on new orders coming through the website, we still had over 700 orders waiting to go out. Hundreds of toys that your little ones had put on their Christmas list still needed to be packed and sent somehow.

With a lot of festive cheer, some waterproofs, a few brave faces, and an endless supply of tea, we set to work fulfilling as many orders as possible.

Luckily, some of our stock did go untouched, and, what we didn’t have, we substituted, eventually shipping nearly all 700+ orders in time.

If that isn’t the definition of Christmas magic, then we don’t know what is!

Feeling the Community Spirit

In the face of adversity, it's reassuring to know that the people around you have your back, and in our time of need, we found that our little community of businesses truly pulled together.

The extensive flooding of our warehouse not only damaged our stock but also affected our electricity supply, so we didn't have lighting, internet, or a kettle!

In true British spirit, our wonderful warehouse neighbours offered to let us use their kettle to keep us warm and caffeinated while we tackled the mammoth task of cleaning up and fulfilling the outstanding orders.

Giving Away Toys to the Local Church

One silver lining in the midst of our flood ordeal was being able to give back to our local community.

Much of our packaging had been damaged due to the flooding, but rather than disposing of the entire lot, we contacted our local church to see if they could make use of the toys that were in better condition.

Using their connections to the community, The Lord’s Larder Charity was able to distribute the toys to Taunton Musgrove Hospital children’s ward for Christmas, putting some big smiles on lots of wonderful children’s faces.

A Huge Thank You to Everyone that Helped

As we reflect on our recent trials and tribulations, our hearts are brimming with gratitude. We have to give a heartfelt thank you to the neighbouring businesses for their generosity in our hour of need, we're not sure what we would have done without them.

Also, The Lord’s Larder Charity for their benevolent spirit in distributing toys and helping us make something beautiful out of a bad situation.

And most importantly, our Farm Toys team for their unwavering resolve. Your collective efforts not only salvaged the season but also reinforced the power of community. We are beyond thankful for everyone's support.

Our Orders are Back to Normal!

As of the beginning of the new year, we're happy to report that our operations are back to normal. We have restocked and replenished all of our inventory and packaging, ready for the new year ahead.

Although the flood was a hugely challenging experience, it taught us valuable lessons in teamwork, resilience, and community support.

We were reminded that even in the face of adversity, we can come together and overcome any obstacle with determination and a little bit of help from our friends.

So, from all of us at Farm Toys Online, thank you for your understanding during the flood and for choosing to support a small business that prides itself on its strong community ties.

We hope you continue to enjoy our products as much as we love bringing them to you.

Kelly-Ann Victor

Kelly-Anne Victor

Hi, I'm Kelly-Anne, proud mum to Henry and Carmen. I lead all things marketing at Farm Toys Online. Alongside Julia, I'm on a mission to rescue kids from screens, focusing on helping parents choose the perfect farm toys that spark imaginative play. My favourite tractor brand is Massey Ferguson, and when it comes to horses, I adore a Welsh Pony!

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