The Yard in 2023: the adventure continues…

As we near halfway into 2023we can safely say it’s been even bigger! With around 8 new families joining us every week, we continue to provide fun, friendship, and inclusion for all who enter our doors.

We hosted our Annual Big FunRaiser ball this past May, where we raised a record-breaking £114,000 towards The Yard’s services. With a range of amazing prizes, including the highly sought-after presidential suite for 10 at the Men’s Wimbledon final, this was our most successful fundraiser yet. We have big shoes to fill for 2024!


2023 has not been without its challenges, however, especially in the face of a cost-of-living crisis that has affected us all. Along with this, in January 2023, a fire was deliberately started in the garden of our Dundee facility, damaging the interior, contents, and electrics of our much-loved ‘GingerbreadHouse’. Thanks to the supportof our National Lottery winnersas well as the community atlarge, we have been able tobuild back stronger. 

On August 6th we will have the grand unveiling of the newly-named ‘Jungle House’ with a jungle-themed party for the Yard community and its supporters.

Since 2016, The Yard has received£90,000 per annum from the Scottish government – enough to support 550 children. Seven years on, the charity reach has grown fourfold across our three centres, however funding from the Scottish Government has not grown in line with this. In 2016 the government contributed £163 per family and in 2023 this has reduced in real terms by 76% to £39 per family!

We have therefore been campaigning for fairer funding, with a letter by Yard parent Lawrence Cowan being presented to the Scottish Parliament on Friday 16th June 2023. This was then followed by questions presented by Claire Baker MSP at the FirstMinister’s Question Time on Thursday22nd June 2023. 

The petition states: “My daughter Eilish should never feel alone. She is four years old. She is one of around 200 kids in the world with a genetic abnormality in a gene called TUBA1A. It means she struggles to talk; it means she struggles to see like you or I and it means she has a learning disability. But what it doesn’t mean is that she is any less deserving of love or a sense of belonging.

The Yard is a charity in Scotland that supports children with disabilities and their families. It is a place of pure joy. It is where Eilish can truly be who she is. A rare place where she is not defined by her disability.”

Thank you!

Thank you Vegware for your continued support of The Yard, making it possible for kids like Eilish to be defined by their passions, play, and laughter, not their disability.