On behalf of everyone here at The Yard, I would like to thank you for your continued support of our services over the past year. Covid-19 has continued to affect our organisation and community of families, but we are delighted to have been able to open our centres in person once again for the majority of 2021 and support as many disabled children, young people, and families as possible.

We really appreciate your support which has enabled us to do this. Not only have we provided family sessions for our members at all three sites, but we have also adapted and re-opened our Fun and Friendship respite clubs for disabled young people aged 8-25 in Edinburgh as well as our Early Years service for 0-5s.

In Edinburgh and Dundee, we have been working with the local authorities and wider sector to provide school sessions that incorporate inclusive play into the curriculum for disabled pupils. We have even been delivering virtual training sessions in Signalong for parents and professionals!

At the start of December 2021, we were hit with another, unexpected challenge when parts of the outdoor playground at The Yard Edinburgh were vandalised and deliberately set on fire, causing significant damage. Since then, we have been overwhelmed by the kindness of our community in response to this news. Our JustGiving page to raise money for the repairs reached over double the original target. We have received an outpouring of support from our families, donors, volunteers and the general public and have had countless offers from people to help with the repairs. The events were also covered by press outlets such as the Daily Record and Edinburgh Evening News. Our community has really rallied around us and we are so grateful for this – it has put such a positive light on a devastating story.

Despite this, we have still been able to offer our families (Covid-19 friendly) festive walk-through sessions of The Yard this Christmas, with a chance to meet Santa at the end. Some of our members have said that our Christmas parties are their only opportunity to feel like they are really celebrating Christmas with their family, so while this year we have had to run at a smaller scale, these events have been a welcome respite to many.

Thank you once again for your continued support, we wouldn’t be able to provide our services without you. From everyone here at The Yard, we hope you have a lovely festive period and a wonderful New Year.