First Call go the extra yard for community scheme


A LOCAL adventure play area designed for children with additional support needs is to benefit from an innovative partnership with Edinburgh home emergency firm First Call Home Assist.

The Yard in the capital’s Eyre Place aims to improve the lives of children and young people with learning difficulties while also providing support to their siblings, parents and others responsible for their care.

The partnership is the latest effort by the firm to cement its strong commitment to helping the local community and with every sale of a home emergency policy made through a dedicated link on The Yard’s website, 15% of the monthly fee will go to the scheme.

Paul has first-hand experience of the work done by The Yard


Celine Sinclair, Chief Executive of The Yard, said: “We are delighted to be part of First Call’s community partnership scheme.  All the money we raise through this new initiative will go towards improving the quality of service we can provide for the 1,500 young people who use our centre regularly. “

Just over 10% of the funding received by The Yard comes from the City of Edinburgh Council and all its other income is raised through approaches to Trusts, Foundations and private companies, which means that 90% of funding needs need to be sourced by the service itself.

First Call chose to help The Yard after their managing director, Paul Greaves, witnessed first hand the care they provide for his niece Cissie who regularly attends the centre.

Mr Greaves said: “My niece was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome at the age of 6 and she can be unpredictable, inflexible and anti-social. At the yard these difficulties are met with understanding, support and often a much needed sense of humour!

“The Yard is an amazing service which our family, and many others, rely upon heavily. It is the only place where we can truly relax, free of anxieties and of judgement from others; somewhere we don’t have to explain or defend our child.

“The Yard also acknowledges the tough position that siblings of children with additional support needs are in, and it is as much a service for them as it is for others.”

Services offered by The Yard include open play family sessions, holiday play sessions, free play and curriculum linked sessions for special schools. The venue is also used for a variety of youth clubs and training courses designed to teach others about the principles of inclusive play.