In December 2021, just days after celebrating our 35th anniversary, a fire was started within the garden of The Yard Edinburgh at Eyre Place Lane, causing around £40,000 worth of damage. 

In response, £53,000 was raised, a combination of individual donations through the JustGiving appeal and from B&Q Foundation, Morrison’s Foundation and City of Edinburgh Council Community Grants. 

Last week, while closed for maintenance, a number of local businesses and individuals also gave up their time to tidy up and repair the outdoor space, which has now reopened to families.

Twelve players from Liberton Rugby Club’s men’s team were among those who volunteered, ripping out the remains of the much-loved, fire-ravaged boardwalk before it is rebuilt in the weeks ahead.

Craig Young, Director of Rugby, said, “We’re always looking for ways to give back to the city, and, when we heard about the fire at The Yard, we were delighted to help out. The Yard is a lifeline for so many local families, with lots of emphasis on freedom and play, and the fire’s had a huge effect on those who enjoy the space. Lots of us are dads, too and can understand the impact the damage has had. Most of these families have nowhere else to play and rely on these facilities to relax, unwind and be themselves.

“During lockdown, especially when we couldn’t train, both the men’s and women’s teams got involved in lots of local projects, from litter picks and foodbank deliveries to fundraising challenges. We all benefit from these activities; they’re great team-building exercises and a way to meet up and do some good when we’re not playing rugby.”

In addition, teams from Edinburgh planning consultants Turley and investment management company BlackRock also volunteered, alongside a number of friends and family volunteers.

Celine Sinclair, our CEO, added, “The fire was a devastating blow and an ironic twist in our story, but the community’s reaction to it has been overwhelming, not to mention the support from our families. We want to thank the countless individuals and businesses whose donations will help us repair and restore the outside space and fund other activities throughout the months ahead. It’s also been amazing to receive so many offers of practical help from local businesses and trades who wanted to do their bit and bring our much-loved play area back to life.”

You can make a donation today to support our work with disabled children and their families through adventure play. Thank you!