While play is at the heart of the organisation, it takes much more than Playworkers to run the service. Behind the scenes too, there is creativity and vision which propels The Yard’s successes. 


Operations Manager

Applications close on Tuesday March 10th and interviews will be held on Tuesday March 17th.

Operations Manager

 The Yard is currently recruiting for a dynamic Operations Manager to lead our team of staff to deliver a play and youth work service for children with additional support needs. If you are interested in this varied, challenging, fun and rewarding role get in touch.

 Some of the duties within this role include:

 To lead the operations, ensuring day to day management and effective service delivery

  • To shape and develop services in line with annual service plan
  • To act as the lead manager on all internal matters as part of the senior management team
  • To deputise for  the CEO as required
  • Develop, implement and review a system of evaluating service performance
  • Liaise with the Fundraising Manager to maximise funding and provide relevant opportunities for involvement of corporate and funding partners e.g. On-site Corporate Days

 For a confidential discussion and full client brief, please email you CV to Pauline@dicksonlewis.com

 Dickson Lewis is the externally appointed agency dealing with the recruitment of this post of behalf of The Yard.


Applications close on Tuesday March 10th and interviews will be held on Tuesday March 17th.

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Media enquiries should be directed to Chief Executive Celine Sinclair

Press packs, logos and photographs are available on request.

Responsibility and Accountability

The Yard is a charity registered in Scotland and a company limited by guarantee. We operate fully in accordance with the requirements of the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator (OSCR) and Companies House and our accounts are fully audited each year. 

Internal control is exercised through our three-year Business Plan, an annual Service Plan, maintenance of a Risk Register and financial and performance monitoring. 

The Care Inspectorate regulates our service and we are inspected and graded annually. All our staff and volunteers are subject to an enhanced Disclosure check. 

The day to day operation of The Yard is the responsibility of The Chief Executive who is responsible to a Board of Management. All Board members are trustees of the charity and directors of the company.


Our Mission

The Yard’s Vision

Safe and adventurous play opportunities for all children and young people with disabilities.

The Yard’s Vision

Safe and adventurous play opportunities for all children and young people with disabilities.

The Yard’s Mission Statement

The Yard aims to provide children and young people with disabilities and their siblings the chance to experience creative and adventurous indoor and outdoor play in a well supported environment.

The Yard’s Aims and Objectives

  • To operate an adventure play centre that provides play, youth clubs and emotional and practical support for children and young people with disabilities
  • To promote inclusive play to enable children and young people with disabilities to develop their full potential
  • To support children and young people with disabilities to develop confidence, self esteem and life skills
  • To offer play services and training services to other professionals working with children and young people with disabilities

The Needs We Meet

The Yard Adventure Centre, in the heart of Edinburgh, is the only purpose built indoor and outdoor adventure play facility for disabled children in the east of Scotland. Our success is largely due to a talented team of specialist play workers who inspire, guide and support the children who come to play.

Annually The Yard was used by 2,000 children and young people and had over 15,000 visits. The Yard is used by special schools and provides a service for around 400 disabled school children every month as part of their curricular day. We are the only family play facility in Edinburgh suitable for families with children with multiple and complex needs that is open throughout the school holidays.

Many families say that The Yard makes an immeasurable difference to the life of the children who use it. Besides giving children a safe place to play our holistic approach as a family centre gives children and their parents and carers a community. On a more practical level the play sessions enhance children’s confidence and self esteem. It also helps children come to terms with their own disability as they become aware of their own differences. Equally important for the children is the impact The Yard has on parents and parenting. Besides providing informal respite, meeting other parents who are facing similar challenges gives the parents the chance to build a network of support and understanding which helps ease the many difficulties that are often faced.

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Day to day operations is the responsibility of The Chief Executive who is responsible to a Board of Management. All Board members are trustees of the charity and directors of the company.

Day to day operations is the responsibility of The Chief Executive who is responsible to a Board of Management. All Board members are trustees of the charity and directors of the company.

Our current Directors are:

Ian Vann (Chair) has extensive experience at a senior management level and worked as a geologist with BP. Following his retirement in 2007, he became a Visiting Professor in Geosciences at Princeton University. He is currently a non-executive director of Serica Energy PLC, Toreador Resources Corp, and Spectraseis AG, and a Senior Associate of Wood Mackenzie Ltd. 
Joined 2010. Elected Chair in Oct 2014.

Joan Fraser spent most of her career in the Scottish Executive, in education and in developing policy for children with additional support needs. She has been a CEO of a voluntary organisation, is a Board Member of Edinburgh Voluntary Organisation Council and NHS Health Scotland and a member of the Visiting Committee for Polmont Young Offenders Institution. Joan joined the board in 2006 and was Chair from 2010 to Oct 2014.

Fiona McPhail (Treasurer) is a chartered accountant. She runs a finance team within the operations division of a major bank and is regularly involved with nearby Bellevue Chapel which uses The Yard on a Sunday for its youth groups. Joined 2009

Claire Coleman is currently employed in career guidance and employability training. She ran an after-school education service in North Edinburgh for 5-14 year olds, including children with additional support needs. 
Joined 2008.

Jen Suttie is a senior HR professional with experience gained in different commercial sectors, including semi-conductor, financial services, software and professional services.  She gained her HR postgraduate diploma after having worked in the field for a number of years. She has been a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development since 2007.  She joined the board in 2012.

Richard Lewis has worked in the IT sector for over 20 years, the majority of that time in General Management or Sales and Marketing roles. Having re-located to Edinburgh in 2003, Richard led an Information Security business based in Edinburgh until its acquisition in 2009, after which he became responsible for the merged organisation’s Europe, Middle East and African operation until its subsequent acquisition in 2011.

Richard now runs his own Management Consultancy focusing on business strategy, sales and marketing development and executive coaching. He joined The Yard board in 2012 and also serves on the board of Byte Night Scotland, an IT charity raising funds for Action for Children.

Jane Green recently joined the Board after spending more than 20 years as a lawyer specialising in employment law, being a partner with the leading firm Maclay Murray & Spens since 2001.  She advised a broad range of clients through her career including the Boards and management teams of many charities.  She has extensive knowledge of charity governance and has previously been a member of the RZSS Board and is a member of the Board of Dunedin Canmore Housing.  Recently, Jane retired from legal practice to give her more time to devote to family, work with charities, her property business and her small, but growing, alpaca herd.

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Annual Report

Each year The Yard's annual reports win major design awards.

The Yard’s annual report, designed by Edinburgh based company Tayburn, is produced as part of a design sponsorship package. The report’s success has not only been measured in terms of the number of prestigious industry awards it has received, it has also had a massive impact on The Yard’s profile and been used as an effective fundraising tool. 

In addition to silver place in the not for profit category at the Design Effectiveness Awards, the Yard’s annual reports have won and extensive number of awards including the Roses, Fresh, Scottish Design Awards and Mobius.

Download a PDF of our 2013/14 Annual Report here

Download a PDF version of our 2013/14 Annual Accounts here

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Information Resources

If you are visiting us for the first time download a copy of our
New Parents Leaflet

Informaton on our Services
Service Leaflet
For information on BBC Children in Needs  Fun and Friendship 
Programme download a copy of our

Fun and Friendship Booklet 


How to find us

The Yard
22 Eyre Place Lane
Edinburgh EH3 5EH

Opening times
We are open to families
with children with
disabilities on a
drop-in basis Friday
afternoons 1pm-4pm 
during term-time
and 10am-4pm 
on Saturdays year
round. We are open
6 days 10am-4pm
in school holidays.  

Contact us
twitter logo
Facebook link
Email us
0131 476 4506 

Get here by bus
The number 8, 27
and 36 stop nearby

small map
Click here for more
detailed directions 

Success stories

"People play
together more.
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About us

Our story
the team
The Yard 

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Click through images of our play facility

Soft Play
Main Hall