National Lottery Winners Save the Day for Disabled Children in Dundee

National Lottery winners from across Scotland have saved the day for a group of children with disabilities whose playhouse and sensory space were set on fire.

The Gingerbread House at The Yard in Dundee was gifted to the charity by National Lottery winners five years ago. The winners donated, built, decorated and painted the wooden structure for the young children.

The Yard lottery group

The much-loved Gingerbread House was handed over in December 2017.

It has been a vital lifeline for hundreds of disabled children since, being used as a sensory space, playroom and even a Christmas grotto.

But recently, vandals struck causing what is believed to be around £10,000 worth of damage. A fire is believed to have been started in the nearby garden, severely damaging the playhouse which was also used to store a range of specialist equipment.  Police are treating the fire as suspicious, and the charity has branded the incident as an “act of cruelty.”

When devastated National Lottery winners heard the news, they immediately rallied, offering to buy a new house for the charity and to paint this in the children’s favourite colours and with a new spring theme chosen by the children.

The Yard lottery

Jim and Pam Forbes.

Jim and Pam Forbes, from Tayport, who won £655,838 on EuroMillions in September 2017, were among the winners who helped to create the original house.

Jim said, “We just could not believe it when we heard about what had happened.

“This is such a vital lifeline for so many young people. I immediately rallied fellow winners, who were equally as devastated when they heard about what had happened, and we have all pulled together to provide a new house for the children. “We are really looking forward to hearing the children’s dreams on how they would like their new house decorated, including all their favourite colours.”

Gill Thomson, Service Development Manager at The Yard, added, “We are just totally sickened by what has happened and all of the children have been so upset. It has been devastating to see. It is such wonderful news to hear that the kind-hearted National Lottery winners who created the gingerbread house for us five years ago now want to replace it. We are so very thankful.

“So many families rely on this service as a safe and welcoming place to play. It has been a much-loved and well-used facility since we were gifted it and we hoped it would be with us for many years bringing joy to lots of young people.”

Equipment, including bikes, go carts and soft play equipment was also destroyed in the fire.

The Yard provides a safe place for children with disabilities to experience and enjoy exciting and adventurous indoor and outdoor play.

The Yard has previously secured more than £24,000 in National Lottery funding for its three play centres based in Edinburgh, Dundee and Fife.

A GoFundMe page was set up immediately following the fire and the charity stresses that all of the money raised through this will be put to essential use replacing items which were lost in the incident.


Notes to Editors:

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