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. 


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.

In 2010-11 some of our members retired and we would like to thank them for their valuable contribution over many years. Our current Directors are:

Joan Fraser (Chair) 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 stood down from the board from April 2009 to January 2010 to be acting Chief Executive.
Joined 2006

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

Morag Meldrum
Morag was Deputy Head at the Royal Blind School and, as a teacher there, first used The Yard in 2002. Morag was Chair of the Board from April 2009 to December 2010.
Joined 2005

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.

Iain McGill is a director of an agency providing social sector staff across Scotland. He is also a Community Councilor, a prospective Parliamentary candidate and has roles as a player, manager and referee in the world of football. He started volunteering at The Yard nearly 20 years ago.
Joined 2007.

Ian Vann 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.

Margaret Westwood has over 20 years experience of play management and responsibility for Edinburgh’s Play Strategy. She is the International Secretary of the International Play Association, chaired Play Scotland from 2005 to 2009, and is a Trustee of the Nancy Ovens Trust. She was a co-opted member of The Yard’s Board in her role as Grants Officer from 2000 until 2009 when she was seconded to The Yard as acting CEO, returning to the Board in February 2010.
Joined 2000.

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.

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Annual Report

Annual report

The Yard Adventure Centre’s 2010/11 annual report won seven major design awards, including silver for Design Effectiveness at the DBA Design Business Association)awards in London.

The Yard’s annual report, designed by Edinburgh based company Tayburn, is part of a three year design sponsorship package now in its third year. 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:

  • Gold (Review/Literature) – Roses Awards 2011
  • Silver (Promotional literature) – Fresh Awards 2011
  • Silver (Charity) – Fresh Awards 2011
  • Winner (Annual Review) – Scottish Design Awards 2011
  • Winner (Craft) – Scottish Design Awards 2011
  • Gold (Charitable) – Mobius Awards 2012

Download a PDF (3MB) of our 2013/14 Annual Report here

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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 1500 children and young people and had over 10,000 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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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.

Download a PDF (1MB) of our 2011-2012 accounts 

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
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Facebook link
Email us
0131 476 4506 

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

small map
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detailed directions 

Success stories

"People play
together more.
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The Yard 

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