Our favourite blacksmith

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Kev Paxton is a blooming genius – he works with metal and just makes the most gorgeous sculptures. I was lucky enough to be given one of his bird feeder stations when I was sick 2 years ago. This beautiful structure lifted my spirits so much and since then the birds we have seen are varied and many. Most recently we have had the joy of seeing a woodpecker regularly visit the feeder station – a great treat.
Kev has a ‘wingman’ called Cat – she is a vital part of his team as are all the guys and gals who work for him. He teaches them this incredible skill of working with metal making beautiful art.
Kev and Cat are both Ambassadors for It’s Good 2 Give spreading the word about the charity and representing us.
As if it wasn’t enough donating Bill the Bull and fundraising with him (raised over £3k), ArtFe have donated one of their amazing bird feeder stations and a gate that is quite simply amazing. it has so much for a child and any adult too, to admire. There is a mouse eating cheese, a butterfly, a heart (because our new RR logo is a rippling heart), a snail, bees, and of course and quite majestically a big bold thistle. A very special addition just for me is the shooting star – a link to Zoe the first teenager I met 11 years ago.
I have a few favourite things at RR – the roof is one, Ben and Karen’s bench another and for sure Kev’s gate is right up there on my list.
If you want to see more of Kev’s work and I highly recommend it – you can see him with Cat and the team at the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston.

Outstanding Silver Beaker

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We are truly honoured to be given this beautiful Ash Beaker by Hamilton & Inches.

Only two have been made.  Just two.

One for us to auction at our Ball in November.

And wait till I tell you who has the other one.

None other than the National Museum of Scotland in their silver Treasury.  That is pretty cool.  Several heritage items created by Hamilton & Inches have also featured in the National Museums, including the crown for the Lord Lyon of Scotland.

I was at the museum last month to see their beaker being put into its display.   Do have a look if you are visiting the museum – we get a wee mention too which is lovely.

The beaker was designed by noted Scottish silversmith Grant McCaig  and hand crafted in the silver workshops at Hamilton & Inches at George Street, Edinburgh. The design of the Ash Beaker was inspired by the protective qualities of the ash tree in Gaelic folklore, appropriately so as our Retreat is in the Loch  Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

While it is up for auction at our Ball in November you can make a bid on it by emailing me and we would consider it on the day.

Heartfelt thanks to Stephen Paterson and his team at Hamilton & Inches for such tremendous support over the years and with this donation in particular.

On the lookout for prizes and sponsors

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It’s that time again – we have half a dozen events in the second half of 2017 and so need to have lots of prizes and auction items for them.

We are already super grateful to a great many donors for donating some pretty special prizes and would love to be grateful to a few more donors!

Anyone able to donate please do get in touch.

We’d love to have some sponsors too for our events – we have  the Scottish Beer Awards, Blingo, Young Ambassadors Afternoon Tea, our Ball, Christmas Afternoon Tea and a new event still to be organised but definitely  happening – a fab foodie event at the Edinburgh School of food and Wine.

Do get in touch if you can help – we would love to hear from you!

email me on lynne@itsgood2give.co.uk or Shonagh on shonagh@itsgood2give.co.uk

It’s Good 2 Give are Seeking fundraisers

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Now that the Retreat is almost ready to welcome families (we are doing final snagging next week and then final ground works the week after) we are looking for lovely folks who might fund-raise for us to start the ball rolling on keeping the Retreat open and also continuing to provide our practical services to young cancer patients and their families.

We also, this year, are fundraising to provide the wall art in the children’s cancer ward at the new Sick Children’s Hospital, Edinburgh and to provide comfy chairs  and lockers for parents in the ward and clinic. Ever practical, those were the projects we wanted to support at the new Hospital.

So, if you’d like to help us, please get in touch with Shonagh@itsgood2give.co.uk

You can set up your own fundraising page or can make a donation to ours

the links are below

The Ripple Retreat page can be found here and

our fundraising page for our projects at the new Sick Kids Hospital can be found here

 

It’s Good 2 Give Ripple Retreat gets its own logo

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A few weeks ago I had an exciting meeting with Andrew Wolffe and Rebecca Moyes of Wolffe design.  They felt that our Ripple Retreat needed its own identity. Ian and I know the importance of branding if not quite sure how it all works!

We were shown a few ideas and knew right away which was the right one for us.   It was also their (Andrew and Rebecca) favourite too.

Next stage was for them to refine their idea further.  It was only three weeks till official opening day – could we get the logo ready enough to use at all?

Hey, it’s us – course we could!  The team at Wolffe worked their socks off.   We had been gifted over 100 pieces of white hotel quality bedlinen by Sarah and Malcolm Duffin – because it is such great quality and pure white it was ideal to have our logo embroidered onto it.

We got in touch with Sam Lauder of Logo Embroidery Scotland- one of two fabulous businesses we work with.  Sam said yes he could do this even in the crazy timescale – Ian and I took the bedding to him and a lovely supporter collected it once done, delivered it to Shonagh and she brought it to Retreat day before we opened.

It is a beautiful logo – very us.

A rippling heart.  The central heart represents the child or young person with cancer, the middle heart represents their family and the outer heart represents it’s good 2 give.

We are planning a sign at the top of our drive at Ripple Retreat and the logo will feature there along with the words

Ripple Retreat

Relax and Reflect

That’s what we all hope the families can do when staying at the Retreat – relax and reflect.  And make memories.

We are super grateful to Wolffe design for their incredible support and looking forward to learning more from them about branding!

Watch our progress here……..

It’s Good 2 Give Ripple Retreat Bench

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A few months ago, we were offered a bench for our Ripple Retreat Spifox Garden (it is called the Spifox garden because the charity Spifox funded it).

Nicola Semple and Susan Begg professionally known as Semple Begg Garden Design who had designed on a pro bono basis the Spifox garden were approached by Ben Dawson. Ben is a very talented furniture designer/maker.  He designed the furniture for the Scottish Parliament so whenever you see in the main chamber you can see Ben’s work.

We were asked to approve the design and also the poem that his wife Karen had written and was going to be inscribed onto the bench itself.

This was an easy ask for us as both the design and the poem are stunning.  We still weren’t prepared for the reality!  Day before we opened this huge lorry arrives and 9 people are needed to carry the bench into its place in our garden.  It is very large and very very beautiful.  The bench is from a tree from Edinburgh’s New Town.  Karen’s poem is perfect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy some photos of the bench

Art at our Ripple Retreat part 1

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We have some lovely art at our Ripple Retreat – all of it has a reason to be here –

over the coming months I shall share with you what we have.

Starting with a very important piece of art – our collaboration with Edinburgh artist, Wendy Helliwell.

Wendy took a group of our Young Ambassadors and gave them a challenge – they were to collect favourite things and make a picture out of them and include a letter that meant something to them.

She held a workshop at her house last summer and worked with the YA’s on their pictures.  After she had all their pictures in, she took some favourite items of mine and worked them into the main picture ( a Edinburgh Military Tattoo ticket,my business card and the Zoe shooting star) – It was so good to see the final picture and to be honest it was a suprise how she had worked her magic on the YA’s pictures. They had all been so different I wasn’t sure how she was going to bring them all together but for sure she has. Wendy has magic and the picture is stunning. Every single guest and visitor has asked about it and been wow’ed by it.

Thank you Wendy for all your help and well done to our Young Ambassadors too.  What a special gift for our Ripple Retreat.

New Patron of It’s Good 2 Give

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Gosh, how lucky were we to have Queen of Daytime TV and lovely lady, Lorraine Kelly OBE, open our Ripple Retreat along with top bloke and first ever Patron of It’s Good 2 Give, Grant Stott.

After seeing round the Retreat, Lorraine did the honours and cut the ribbon with me and several of our Young Ambassadors – all of whom have a reason to support It’s Good 2 Give.

What I didn’t know at the time was that Lorraine’s husband, Steve, had put a drone up and filmed the Retreat from above – she very kindly sent me the footage the next night – you can see it on our Youtube channel here.

I asked Lorraine if she would become a Patron of our charity and was delighted when she said yes.

So, from all of us at It’s Good 2 Give and all our supporters too it is a very warm welcome to our newest Patron, Lorraine.

Here’s to a long and happy partnership!

Lorraine Kelly OBE with Grant Stott both Patrons of It’s Good 2 Give

New Event! Afternoon Tea at the Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh

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What?    An afternoon tea event  organised by some of our Young Ambassadors

When?  Sunday 5 November 2-4pm with a pop up shopping area from 1-2pm – an ideal opportunity to start your Christmas shopping

Where? The Roxburghe Hotel, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh

Why?   We love organising events for our supporters and it is a wonderful way to raise funds for our small charity- although events are a huge amount of work, we love doing them and it is very important to us that our guests love attending!  The funds raised from today’s event will go to supporting our Ripple Retreat near Callander – a retreat for young cancer patients and their families where they can spend a few days away together in luxurious and relaxing surroundings.  Some of the funds raised will also go towards providing a defibrillator for the Callander area – our Young Ambassadors attend regular workshops and one of these workshops was an introduction to first aid.  At that workshop they learnt about the importance of defibrillators in saving lives and we all agreed it would be nice to provide a defibrillator to the area our Retreat is situated in.  The final decision on location will be left to  St John’s Scotland who we are dealing with.

How much?  £25 per person and that includes a glass of something sparkling!  (10% discount for booking a table of 10)

How do you get tickets?  Please go to our event brite page and you can book your spaces there.

Any queries – please contact Shonagh Byrne on Shonagh@itsgood2give.co.uk

12days to go till we open Ripple Retreat

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Ian and I were up at the site today to water the newly planted plants and Millie’s trees – we have had a dry spell for a few days and we can’t have them drying out.

 

There was no one else there today of course so it was very peaceful. Ian was busy sorting the tree ties and I decided to sit at the pier and look down the loch and had some moments to think.

And this is what I was thinking…..

Three and a bit years ago when we first met David and Jean we had not expected them to give us such a beautiful piece of their land. We had not expected it to be so peaceful, stunning and have views like it has. We had not expected to be given a piece of land in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Our next concern was – would the planners let us build here? We could but ask. They (the planners at the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park) said if we were to have any chance of building here we were going to have to produce a design that was ‘exceptional’ and fitted in to its surroundings.

A tall ask.

Incredibly around the same time we were introduced to Tony Kettle. Tony had designed the Falkirk Wheel among many other buildings of note. He was interested in helping. Give me a few weeks he said and we did. Not in a million years did I think we would like the very first (and only) design he would show us.

But he’s good. He is really really good.

The design was both exceptional and fitted in to its surroundings.

We loved it. Fortunately so did the planners!

And so today, the last day of April 2017, I sat there and pinched myself – listen, I am not going to kid you and say the past three years has been easy – this project threw up all sorts of obstacles and hurdles – the design team have all worked together to work through them though and let’s not forget that for almost a year I was getting chemo and radiotherapy – not easy for either me or Ian but working on this project helped us both a lot.

In particular this year has been tough – unavoidable delays here and there are frustrating to say the least and differing views on style has meant compromises too by all parties.

Plus it is hard working on this to the extent we have this year, plus continuing to fundraise for it, organise events, and run the charity!

All that by way of saying, I think, that I had been getting blasé about the Retreat, taking it for granted and yet today as I sat at peace, loch side, it hit me.

Tony Kettle is an absolute marvel, David and Jean are awesome and our contractors quite remarkable – everyone else involved is pretty cool too. Our Patrons, Trustees, Ambassadors, Young Ambassadors and volunteers are some of the finest people on the planet.

And our Ripple Retreat is truly truly stunning. Breathtaking. It took my breath away today, brought tears to my eyes as I realised we are less than two weeks away from opening it. (well those tears might have been tears of terror at the thought of just 2 weeks to go and quite a lot to do in that time.) (kidding – they were tears of wonder, of joy, of immense gratitude).

What an amazing collective achievement.

Now, I must go, there are a fair few tasks to do before Lorraine Kelly cuts that ribbon!!