For mother-of-six Libby Holman, The Yard is a family affair!

Having benefitted from The Yard in Dundee since it opened, Libby brought her now 16-year-old daughter as a young child, later joined by her two sons, all of whom have Autism and ADHD. 

Looking to get back into work after 16 years of bringing up her children, Libby applied for the post of Sessional Playworker in November 2021 and was thrilled to secure the position!  She mainly works with the school sessions, with children coming into The Yard for two hours or the team taking The Yard experience out to the school.  Libby has also helped out during weekend family sessions, playing with the children and supporting the parents.

Libby said, “As a mum to children with various additional needs, some people might think I’ve got enough on my plate without working here, but I absolutely love it.

“All children are different, and that’s what makes it so special.  For me, it’s about picking up on their cues, reacting to them and bringing some fun and relaxation to their day! The kids are always so pleased to see us and say, ‘what are we going to do today?’  I know from my own experience that it’s not easy taking your child or children out and about when you don’t know how they’ll react.  Here, no one feels awkward or stressed – it’s so inclusive and welcoming.

“Despite what people might think, you don’t need set qualifications to work here. You just need to care, to enjoy playing and working with children.  Sometimes, you’ll come home with a pocket full of mud or sand in your hair, but hey, if the children have had fun, you’ve done your job!

“For me, yes, I’ve lived it and get what the parents are going through when they’re having an ‘off’ day, but you don’t have to live it to work it!  So many people out there could make a difference to The Yard - a couple of hours a week can make a massive difference.

“In the past, I was always anxious and scared to talk to anyone – now colleagues say I’m the first one to go over to the parent who looks stressed or the child who’s having the meltdown. The whole Yard experience has helped me become who I am – it’s the most rewarding place. I really couldn’t see myself working anywhere else.”