The Yard

35 Years Supporting Families!

Disabled children’s play charity The Yard is celebrating 35 years of adventure, fun and friendship.

Opening its first location at Eyre Place Lane, Edinburgh in 1986, The Yard supports disabled children, young people and their families through child-centred and child-led adventure play.

Welcoming children from birth to the age of 25, The Yard also supports countless families through its centres at Drumlanrig Place, Mid Craigie, Dundee and the Argos Centre in Kirkcaldy. Fundraising is accelerating for The Yard’s planned replacement, purpose-built adventure play facility in Douglas, Dundee with updates expected next year.  In addition, The Yard is currently making plans to run services in the West of Scotland with the development of a base in Glasgow. The centre will support hundreds of children and families and is being widely supported by local communities and the statutory sector.

Crucially, The Yard exists for the whole family, with parents, carers and siblings also welcome to attend play sessions, generating endless benefits for the wider family.

The Yard Flemings

One of the families to benefit from The Yard in Dundee – mum and dad Marc and Lisa Fleming with twin boys Keir and Luka and daughter Rosie.

Celine Sinclair, CEO, The Yard said, “We are absolutely thrilled to be marking this milestone, especially after two of the most challenging years we could ever have anticipated. If someone had said we would approach the anniversary with months of lockdowns and restrictions, we would never have believed them.

“I’d personally like to thank each and every member of The Yard team for getting us through this period. Without their dedication, commitment and sheer love for what they do, we’d be nothing. However, the challenges we faced as a charity were nothing compared to the challenges facing families with a disabled child at home.

“We have been working harder than ever to ensure we are there for our families, even when they couldn’t physically be here. And, in addition to the families themselves, we have also continued, in fact accelerated, the level of support we provide to the wider community from schools and nurseries to community groups, whether that’s offering Signalong training online to providing emergency sessions for those who needed it most.”

So what next for The Yard?

Celine added, “Over these 35 years, we have shared so many adventures with our families. We have also created lots of fun and friendships within our The Yard community but, in many ways, we’ve just scratched the surface. Yes, we have achieved a lot but there is so much more to do and so many families we have yet to reach.

“With ambitious plans for the future which will affect all three of The Yard’s locations, we rely on donations and are exceptionally grateful to the many individuals and businesses who support us year after year. To those who are looking to team up with a local charity as we welcome a new year, rest assured that every pound you commit or hour you offer as a volunteer will make a lifelong difference to a local family.”

Today, DIY SoS presenter Nick Knowles sent a special birthday message to The Yard, having helped transform their flagship Edinburgh premises back in 2012.

The Yard Nick Knowles Celine Sinclair

Nick Knowles and Celine Sinclair

Nick said, “The Yard is a little miracle tucked away between the streets of Edinburgh, a lifesaver for mums and dads with children dealing with disabilities, life-limiting illnesses or conditions that make play and learning in other environments difficult. What’s wonderful is they can play with their brothers and sisters in a safe nurturing environment. You won’t believe the relief and respite mums and dads can get whilst their children play for and just an hour or so. A chance to talk to other parents, get advice or just have a little cry and a hug.

“The staff are the most wonderful people with the biggest hearts and after we helped revamp The Yard with the local community volunteers, it has gone from strength to strength – spreading their skills and for want of a better expression ‘business model’ across Scotland.  I love what they do there and in Celine they have a dynamo of a champion.  I’m very fond of them all –  it remains one of my favourite builds and I will continue to support them as I know many businesses and individuals do across Scotland to carry on their invaluable and loving work. If you’re looking for a charity to support for your business – put this at the top of your pile.”

Vicky and Martin Gladstone, with son Miles, regular visitors to The Yard in Edinburgh.

To learn more about the Fleming and Gladstone families, please visit

To support The Yard’s 35th anniversary campaign, please visit