Christmas comes early for Dundee charity as lottery winners build festive treat

With a combined wealth of over £25 million, the lottery winners worked a little Christmas magic when they turned a simple wood cabin into an enchanting super-sized gingerbread playhouse for the charity. The gift will be used as a much-needed sensory room for children who visit The Yard’s centre in Dundee with glowing lights, stimulating shapes and fun toys for the children to enjoy.

The Yard provides a safe place for disabled children and young people, and their siblings, to experience and enjoy exciting and adventurous indoor and outdoor play. The charity encourages a sense of belonging for children, as well as building a community for parents and carers through its services. The Yard has three play centres based in Edinburgh, Dundee and Fife.

The lottery winners worked over a 24-hour period in Dundee to create a bespoke gingerbread house for the charity and fill it with resources for the children and their siblings. Arming themselves with 75 paint brushes, 20 rollers, more than 100 litres of paint and countless decorations and twinkly lights, the group set about creating a fantastic festive funhouse that delighted the team at The Yard.

Winners helping to create gingerbread magic in Dundee included: Brian and Ann Sharp, from Musselburgh, who won £2,033,705 on Lotto in June 2010; John and Alison Doherty, from Elderslie, who won £14,671,343 on Lotto in July 2016; Ray and Sheila Storey, from Dundee, who won £1,050,000 in December 2014; Jim and Pamela Forbes, from Tayport, who won £655,838 on EuroMillions in September 2017; Sheila and Duncan Davidson, from Aberdeenshire, who won £4,520,123 on Lotto in February 2012; Libby Elliott, from Ellon, who won £2,159,664 on Lotto in August 2012 and Barry and Roberta Little, from Dumfries, who won £1m on EuroMillions in January 2013.

Celine Sinclair, Chief Executive at The Yard said: “We are so excited to have been chosen to receive this fantastic gingerbread playhouse. The winners’ hard work and time spent on the project means so much to the children who will benefit from our new sensory room. They can’t wait to see what Santa’s helpers have created especially for them and their siblings to enjoy.

“Without the help of the National Lottery, we could never dream of owning something like this. The addition of this sensory room will allow our children to enjoy a quiet and relaxing safe space while promoting interaction and sense stimulation. It’s such a lovely gesture and we can’t wait to watch them enjoying their new playhouse for years to come.”

Jim and Pam Forbes, from Tayport, who won £655,838 on EuroMillions in September 2017, added: “We were lucky enough to win the lottery and really wanted to show our appreciation by helping others. What better way to do so than by supporting an organisation like this that provides so many opportunities for fun and friendship for children. The Yard has a truly magical feel about it and the staff are incredible.

“It’s fantastic to meet some of the other winners who joined us today to create such a colourful gingerbread playhouse which will hopefully bring hours of joy to the young people here, their siblings and their families.”

The Yard has secured over £24,000 from The National Lottery for its three centres across Scotland and is just one of thousands of projects in Scotland to benefit from National Lottery funding thanks to players. Since the launch of The National Lottery in 1994, £3.1 Billion has been shared with 63,643 projects across Scotland, covering a diverse range of sectors from arts, heritage, sport, education, environment, health and charity.

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