New adventure for the Yard as service for children with disabilities set to move in to Argos Centre

The Yard is coming to Kirkcaldy
The Yard is coming to Kirkcaldy

The Yard - a hugely popular adventure play centre for children with disabilities - is due to open in Kirkcaldy in May.

The new service for Fife families will operate on a temporary part-time basis from the Argos Centre in Templehall.

Actress Joanna Lumley visited The Yard in Edinburgh. Pic: Peter Devlin

Actress Joanna Lumley visited The Yard in Edinburgh. Pic: Peter Devlin

Celine Sinclair, chief executive of The Yard, said: “We are delighted to have secured such a fantastic space in Kirkcaldy from which to run our play service.

“With the summer months approaching this is an ideal time for us to open and we are looking forward to meeting many new families in Fife over the coming months.”

Around 1600 children of all ages and disabilities use The Yard’s large indoor and outdoor play centre in Edinburgh.

It boasts go-karts, sensory rooms, art rooms and soft play.

The sessions, overseen by specially trained staff, offer vital respite for families, many of whom have children with multiple and complex needs.

Until recently The Yard in Edinburgh was the only centre of its kind in the east of Scotland but, following a high profile appearance on the BBC One programme DIY SOS in 2012, a variety of funders came forward to help expand its services across Scotland.

Last month The Yard officially opened a weekly play service in Dundee which is proving very popular with local families.

Celine revealed the search for a space in Kirkcaldy had taken longer than expected but she was “thrilled“ members of the community learning and development team,, which runs the Argos Centre in Appin Crescent had been very welcoming.

“ We will offer our service from the building on Sundays but we already have funding in place to step up to two days a week from July 1,” she commented.

“ To work around the needs of current services at Argos we plan to offer late afternoon and early evening sessions on a Saturday.”

The new Yard will also create at least five new jobs - applications closed on Monday for two playworkers, a development officer and up to three sessional members of staff.

Looking ahead, The Yard has sufficient funding in place to open a permanent service in Fife and the search for a suitable site continues.

However, the decision to proceed rests with a board of directors who will gauge demand for The Yard in Kirkcaldy after a period of six months.

Cllr. Neil Crooks, Chair of Kirkcaldy Area Committee, said: “It’s fantastic that The Yard will be bringing their unique adventure play service to children and families in Kirkcaldy and Fife.

“Giving disabled children the freedom to play and learn in a safe and secure environment such as The Argos Centre can only be a positive thing for the young people and their families and carers.”