Nothing's impossible

It took a very special woman with huge energy and drive to get East Lothian Handicapped Children’s Playscheme (as it was then) up and running. Right from the start, a “nothing’s impossible” approach was adopted – taking no for an answer was never an option for Heather Gardner.

After moving to East Lothian as a young community education worker, project founder Heather soon realised there was a huge gap in services for disabled children locally. With the support of social worker Ann McCarthy and a small amount of funding, what began as music therapy sessions soon evolved into a much-needed school holiday playscheme. 

ELSNP was officially born in 1982 with 2 groups of 12 children coming along for two activity days a week. Charitable status quickly followed, as did the establishment of a hugely successful volunteering programme with local secondary schools.

Nearly four decades on, and Can Do’s evolution continues, but it would never have started if it wasn’t for Heather Gardner’s in-built drive to challenge injustice and support families. Heather’s legacy, ethos and high calibre commitment continues at Can Do to this day, and she’s delighted to see the multi-level benefits of such a great project still being shared by children, families, volunteers and staff.