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From old goods yard to garden of delight

A MUSICAL garden to help children with special needs has been opened in Edinburgh by Evelyn Glennie, the internationally renowned percussionist who is herself deaf, writes George Hume.

Volunteers at the Scotland Yard Adventure Centre, created on the site of a former goods yard, have installed a number of specially designed instruments so the youngsters can express themselves and put their ideas of music to the test.

Mike Worobec, a play worker at the centre, says much of the garden was built by children from the neighbouring Canonmills special school. They helped to put in walkways, shrubs and other plants and to fit instruments such as a thunder board and talking tubes.

The centre exists to promote play and keeps an open door for children with special needs.

It has been awarded pound;155,000 over three years by the National Lottery Charities Board for Scotland. Some of the money is being used to run after-school and weekend play opportunities.

Mr Worobec says: "The children we cater for may, because of their disabilities or difficulties, be denied play activities and facilities. Our centre is specifically designed so that they can explore, experiment and expand their abilities at their own pace in a supportive and constantly changing environment. No child could walk through the new musical garden and not be captivated by the opportunities for sound and action."

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