hub East Central and FES Group help light up The Yard in Dundee

A Dundee drop-in centre, providing play services for disabled children, young people and their families, will have a brighter future when it re-opens in the weeks ahead thanks to support from hub East Central Scotland and the FES Group.

hub East Central and FES Group help light up The Yard in Dundee

(from left) Gerry McCafferty, operations manager, engineering & property services, FES Support Services; Gill Thomson – service development manager at The Yard in Dundee and Amanda Wright - community benefits & social value manager, hub East Central Scotland

The organisations donated and fitted new outside lights to the building and garden, while Traffic Group Signals provided a set of custom-made, portable traffic lights for the playground.

The donations will allow The Yard, which offers creative and adventurous play for children and their siblings, to light up its outdoor space when families return, allowing children to play outside during early evening sessions.

Prior to lockdown, staff at The Yard had painted white lines on its playground outside, creating a track area for cycling, scootering or toy cars. They also created a pelican crossing and, with the new traffic lights, will be able to teach children about road safety.

Since opening in 2015, the Drumlanrig Place service has supported over 160 families from throughout Dundee Perth and Kinross and Angus. Although currently closed, The Yard will re-open to families in the weeks ahead.

Gill Thomson, service development manager at The Yard in Dundee, said: “We are absolutely delighted and extremely grateful for these kind donations which will quite literally light up The Yard in the weeks and months ahead.

“The traffic lights will also allow us to teach children about the importance of road safety as many of the young people we support don’t have these skills, nor would it be easy to teach them out and about in everyday life. We are busy making preparations for our re-opening, creating some fantastic new activities and hope to announce our plans in the weeks ahead.”

hub East Central and FES Group help light up The Yard in Dundee

FES Support Services electricians (from left) Scott Lygate, Saul Lygate and John Shirlaw with Gill Thomson

Amanda Wright, community benefits and social value manager at hub East Central Scotland, said: “At hub, our key priority is to make a real difference to local communities. The team at The Yard Dundee are unstinting in the work that they do to support local disabled children and their families and it’s been a pleasure to work with them and help provide them with the equipment that will allow extra playtime during darker evenings.”

The donation from Traffic Group Signals was prompted by one of its Scottish field engineers, Vince Kaney who suggested breathing new life into some older equipment. He went on to coordinate and build the battery-operated traffic lights which were adapted with a remote control so they could be operated by The Yard. Built on a compact tripod, they can also be safely stowed away when not in use.

Director Maxine Hutchinson said: “Traffic Group Signals are proud to donate much-needed traffic lights to The Yard, an amazing charity that supports disabled children and their families. We also recognise the personal effort taken by Vince, one of our field engineers, to adapt one of our lights especially for the charity.”

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