The Yard Chief Executive, Celine Sinclair, is in the running for a 2017 Scottish Charity Award.

Organised by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), the Awards, which are free to enter, celebrate the life-changing work of charities, community groups and individuals dedicated to making Scotland a better place to live. All shortlisted entries will also compete for the People’s Choice Award which will be decided by the public via online voting.

As a fiercely committed advocate for disabled children, Celine leads and inspires The Yard team with her passion and dedication every day. She is well known in the third sector as an expert in play and disability, with the knowledge and expertise to back up that passion. Coming from a place of empathy and understanding, Celine is able to make our families, staff and volunteers feel at home, replicating our unique culture and atmosphere from Edinburgh into Dundee and Fife. The Yard is known as an exciting, dynamic and magical place – this is down to Celine’s hard work and vision.

Celine has been instrumental in growing The Yard’s services from supporting 50 families to almost 600 across the east of Scotland. Thanks to Celine’s efforts, all Edinburgh after school club staff are trained in delivering truly inclusive play experiences. The Yard is recognised by the Scottish Government as a centre of excellence and Care Inspectorate as an example of innovation. Research demonstrates The Yard model created by Celine is effective in supporting disabled children and their families. Celine’s approach has therefore led to better mental health, significant reduction in social isolation, and solutions to many of the problems isolation creates.

“During The Yard’s 30th anniversary year, and after ten years as Chief Executive here, I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for Leading Light at SCVO’s Scottish Charity Awards. The endorsement of my colleagues means a lot and will hopefully help us reach more people with the services we offer at The Yard. My vision is access to safe and adventurous play opportunities for all of Scotland’s disabled children, so it is great to see play and disability being recognised as important issues in our sector. ”

The Scottish Charity Awards are open to any voluntary organisation, charity, community group or individual charity volunteer or staff member. More information is available at the Scottish Charity Awards website. All the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in the EICC, Edinburgh on Thursday 22 June.