Nominate your Able2UK heroes and losers

Want to nominate somebody as an Able2UK Hero or Loser?  Tweet us @Able2UK with #Able2Hero or #Able2Loser with your suggestions!

Nick Knowles sends charity a birthday message

Nick Knowles with The Yard c e o Celine Sinclaire
Nick Knowles with The Yard c e o Celine Sinclaire Image credit:

A children charity for disabled youngsters celebrated its 35th anniversary in style when Nick Knowles recorded a special message to congratulate them for the milestone.

Scottish based group The Yard has been supporting children with learning disabilities providing playtime facilities over the past three decades from its hometown of Edinburgh as well as Dundee and Fife.

Their base was given a dazzling makeover in 2012 when Knowles and the DIY SOS team worked their magic as part of a BBC Children In Need special.

Seven years later the TV presenter returned to the charity’s base in 2019 to see how the new revised centre has impacted the kid’s lives.

This month he gave the charity another added boost by sending them birthday wishes via a pre-recorded film.

In the clip Knowles said: “The Yard is a lifesaver for mums and dads with children dealing with disabilities, life-limiting illnesses or conditions that make play and learning in other environments difficult.

"What’s wonderful is they can play with their brothers and sisters in a safe nurturing environment.

"You won’t believe the relief and respite mums and dads can get whilst their children play for and just an hour or so. A chance to talk to other parents, get advice or just have a little cry and a hug.

"The staff are the most wonderful people with the biggest hearts and after we helped revamp The Yard with the local community volunteers, it has gone from strength to strength - spreading their skills across Scotland.

"It remains one of my favourite builds and I will continue to support them as I know many businesses and individuals do across Scotland to carry on their invaluable and loving work.

"If you’re looking for a charity to support for your business - put this at the top of your pile.”

The Yard was launched at Eyre Place Lane, Edinburgh in 1986 for young people up to the age of 25 so they could have a safe and adventurous play area giving parents a break and meeting other families with disabled children.

Celine Sinclair, CEO of the charity, told the Daily Record: "We are absolutely thrilled to be marking this milestone, especially after two of the most challenging years we could ever have anticipated.

"If someone had said we would approach the anniversary with months of lockdowns and restrictions, we would never have believed them.

“I’d personally like to thank each and every member of The Yard team for getting us through this period. Without their dedication, commitment and sheer love for what they do, we’d be nothing.

"However, the challenges we faced as a charity were nothing compared to the challenges facing families with a disabled child at home.

“We have been working harder than ever to ensure we are there for our families, even when they couldn’t physically be here."

The Yard is now raising money for a new state-of-the-art facility at a new site in Dundee.

For more information visit The Yard website.