From the Goal to The Yard! – Rugby Legends Raise £20,000 for Disabled Children’s Charity

A group of Scottish rugby legends have helped raise £20,000 for The Yard.

The British & Irish Lions event was organised by Roddy McAllister, Dealer Principal at Grange Motors (Aston Martin Edinburgh & Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Edinburgh).   Roddy, whose 10 year-old son Finlay has been attending The Yard since 2016, asked for a donation of £1,000 each for 20 Lions shirts.   The shirts, signed by legends including Gavin Hastings, Sir Gareth Edwards, Martin Johnson, Lee Mears, Greig Laidlaw, Jason Robinson and Sean O’Brien, were then auctioned off during the event.

The Yard Grange Motors

L-R: Roddy McAllister of Grange Motors, Gavin Hastings and Jenny MacDonald of The Yard. Credit – Lesley Martin.

The Yard provides adventure play services for disabled children, young people and their families.  In addition to its premises in Eyre Place Lane, Edinburgh, The Yard also supports families in Kirkcaldy and Dundee. All three services have re-opened and welcoming new members.

Roddy said, “We held an event in our Rolls-Royce showroom to celebrate the British and Irish Lions game against Japan at Murrayfield. We had loads of rugby legends at the event including Martin Johnson, Jason Robinson, Gavin Hastings and Sir Gareth Edwards. We decided to buy a load of British Lions rugby shirts, get them signed by all the rugby legends who attended and auctioned them on the evening. We didn’t expect to raise £20,000 and, when each of the winners stepped forward to collect their shirts, I got a little emotional as the charity really helps my son and our family. This is why I wanted to give something back to The Yard. We are looking to keep supporting the charity as I know how much the charity does for kids and their families.”

Jenny MacDonald, Director of Development, The Yard, added, “We are extremely grateful to Roddy and the team at Grange Motors for their continuing support of The Yard. We would like to thank everyone who signed shirts and attended the event to help raise this fantastic fundraising total. It will make a huge difference for our families at The Yard by supporting our vital services at a time when disabled children and young people, and their families, need us more than ever.”

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The Yard is an award-winning charity, running adventure play services for disabled children, young people and their families in the east of Scotland. It offers creative, adventurous indoor and outdoor play experiences in a well-supported environment. It provides care, support, and opportunities for fun and friendship. Besides informal respite, meeting other parents who face similar challenges lets them build a network of support and understanding that helps ease the difficulties they face. The flagship Edinburgh centre was refurbished by DIY SOS The Big Build in 2012. The Yard Dundee opened in 2015, followed by The Yard Fife in 2016.

The Yard was awarded the Nancy Ovens Positive Support for Play Award 2016 and the Herald Society Award for Improving Young People’s Lives in 2019. Celine Sinclair, Chief Executive of The Yard, was awarded Leading Light at Scottish Charity Awards 2017, Director of the Year at Edinburgh Chamber Business Awards 2018 and Director of the Year – Small Business at IoD Scotland Director of the Year Awards 2018.