Scottish National Lottery winners spent two days painting and furnishing a new playhouse at The Yard  Dundee, and in the process, made dreams come true for hundreds of young children in the area who access our essential services and facilities.

Our original gingerbread playhouse – built and gifted by National Lottery winners five years ago – was vandalised earlier this year, leaving our members without this vital and much-loved resource.

But as soon as the team of Lottery winners, many of whom had been involved in the original build, found out what had happened, they immediately rallied to ensure this vital lifeline could be restored.

Led by our members, the children themselves, favourite colours were chosen and a wildlife theme decided upon, and now the hard-working group of winners have brought the children’s colourful vision to life.

Jim and Pam Forbes, from Tayport, who won £655,838 on EuroMillions in September 2017, were among the winners who helped to create the new playhouse.

Jim said today, “We just could not believe it when we heard about what had happened and immediately rallied the support of our fellow winners. Everyone has been so upset as we all understand what a vital lifeline this is for so many young people in the area.

“We just wanted to build a new playhouse for the children as quickly as we possibly could. We cannot wait for all of them to see it and once again enjoy hours of playtime fun.”

Also joining Jim and Pam, were two of the country’s biggest National Lottery winners, Lesley and Fred Higgins, from Perthshire, who won £58M in 2018.

Fred added, “Like all our fellow winners here today, we were devastated when we found out what had happened. Our immediate reaction was to find a way to help, and Jim and Pam (Forbes) galvanised the group into action.

“We understand how much the playhouse has been loved over the years and how important it has been to so many young people. The new design is just what the youngsters asked for and we now hope they will have many, many more happy and fun years using it.”

Gill Thomson, Service Development Manager at The Yard, added, “We are so grateful to the big-hearted National Lottery winners for stepping in and supporting us with their time and effort.

“The children have been devastated. So many families rely on this service as a safe and welcoming place to play. It has been a much-loved and well-used facility since we were gifted it and we hoped it would be with us for many years bringing joy to lots of young people – and now it looks like it once again will be!”

Claire Hermon and Pauline Rice bring their triplets, Olivia, Bella and Oliver, aged seven, to The Yard.

Pauline said, “When I heard about the fire at the gingerbread house, I was absolutely gobsmacked and, to be honest, devastated as The Yard is so special to us and one of our go-to places.

“Of course, I then had to break the news to the children who were equally disappointed and confused. Oliver in particular loves the gingerbread house – it’s one of his favourite play areas at The Yard and, of course, also what they associate as Santa’s Grotto. They just didn’t understand why someone would do that.

“The Yard, being its usual self, turned things around quickly and, equally, the local community, parents and local businesses responded to their plea for help. We, as a family, also had a rummage around the bedroom and picked some toys and a wee collection to donate.

“Then we heard about the lottery winners who were reinventing the space and creating a new sensory playhouse for The Yard. When we heard it would be jungle-themed, the kids were so excited!  The news of this new space is just delightful for us.  The vandalism was a devastating event but, thanks to the local community and National Lottery winners, they have been able to turn it around and give the children back what they deserve.”

If you would like to support our families, please consider a regular or one-off gift to The Yard.