Looking for a way to raise funds for The Yard that doesn't involve a pavement-pounding commitment? One of our superstar dads, Greg, shares his story of taking on a very special challenge that required no training at all! Greg told us:

“When I lived in Edinburgh, I walked past The Yard every day. I had no idea what it was or what amazing work went on there. A few years – and two kids – later, The Yard is now a cause very close to my heart, and a huge part of our family life.

Our five-year-old son has autism. It’s a condition that affects every aspect of our lives, and centres like The Yard provide a rare sanctuary for us, alongside others who fully understand the daily challenges. We are accepted, without judgement, in a safe and comfortable environment - this is particularly important when “typical” days out are just not possible. I’m genuinely humbled every time I leave The Yard, and that feeling remains as strong today as it did on our first visit there.

My fundraising story began, inauspiciously, on Hogmanay 2018 when, after a few shandies, my wife spotted a Facebook post from The Yard asking whether anyone wanted to volunteer for one of their allocated slots on the Forth Rail Bridge Abseil. Selflessly, my wife agreed that I should volunteer! She also agreed it was best we sign up immediately rather than having any time at all to think about it! Irrespective of the fact that it was an allocated slot, my first choice for fundraising would always have been The Yard, if only to give a little back.

I’d never abseiled before and didn’t really know if I was any good with heights – sure, I’m OK on a ladder, but that didn't seem a fitting test! The bad news was that I’d just have to wait until the day to see if it would go well. The good news was that I didn’t have to do all the training that those fundraising runners have to do in advance!

The day itself was excellent – brilliantly organised by The Rotary Club, with excellent support from a number of others, most notably Glasgow Climbing Centre. It was great to be part of a group of volunteers for The Yard, with staff from Edinburgh Airport bravely supporting their nominated charity. Sure, I had some nerves, but these were put into perspective when I saw my folks worrying about where they would park their car in South Queensferry that day!

Truth be told,  I actually enjoyed the abseil. So if you are thinking about taking on a challenge this year for a brilliant cause, but can’t be bothered with any training, I would certainly recommend doing the abseil to raise much-needed funds for The Yard!”

The 2020 Forth Bridge Abseil takes place on Sunday 10th May. Places will be released in January but always sell out very quickly. You can register your interest with The Yard now. Learn more and sign up to your next fundraising challenge event.