In 2015 Connor, aged six, was diagnosed with Global Development Delay and was struggling to interact with children and adults. His behaviour was erratic and very challenging. Mum, Leeann, felt ashamed to take him anywhere and she became depressed. It also meant that her other son, Archie, was missing out on social experiences. Then Leeann's husband suggested they try The Yard.

Leeann was nervous at first, but she received a warm welcome from The Yard staff, was introduced to some other mums and got chatting. It took Leeann a while to relax but she continued to bring both boys every Saturday to The Yard’s family sessions. 

After three months of continued Saturday visits, to Leeann’s surprise, Connor built up a great relationship with The Yard staff and volunteers. Connor also began mixing with other children and his attention span was getting better. He learned to use a scooter, made friends and his speech is continually improving. More recently, Connor was given an official diagnosis of autism.

Connor’s brother, Archie, was then diagnosed with a learning disability. The Yard is helping him to build muscle through rough and tumble, climbing and playing chasing games around the playground. His trust is improving and he now speaks to other children and staff. His danger perception isn’t great, but at The Yard, he is able to explore risks in a safe environment. Leeann and Archie are are working on road safety using the traffic lights in the playground.

Leeann says,

"I feel a lot better since I started visiting The Yard and really glad I stuck with it. It’s great for the kids, it gives me a chance to chat to parents and staff, and I even get some time to myself. A cup of coffee on your own is a luxury! The Yard has supported the boys to make friends and build social skills that I feel they wouldn’t have been able to achieve if I hadn't made the effort to come back. It has helped me to work through my depression and look to the future. I now attend some Fridays and every Saturday."