St Cuthbert’s Way successfully completed

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A huge well done to Neil Hughes and his friends who managed to completed their walk of St Cuthbert’s Way last week.

Over the 5 days they walked a total of 64 miles.

Monday from Melrose to Harestanes with Colin Stewart Tuesday from Harestanes to Kirk Yetholm with Colin Dumma Wednesday from Kirk Yetholm to Wooler with Karl Fearnley & Gareth Hughes Thursday from Wooler to Fenwick with Andrew Williamson Friday fromFenwick to Holy Island with Tom Menzies Raising an amazing £3683 for It’s Good to Give which is hugely appreciated.

Here are a few photos of Neil – arriving at Holy Island and a view from the Cheviots.

Ripple Ball 2018 sponsors welcomed!

Posted by | Events, gratitude | One Comment

We are looking for businesses to take a half/full page ad in our A5 Ripple Ball programme in exchange for a donation of £250/500.

Each guest – and there are 400 of them – will receive a programme and this is a great way to advertise your business to them.

As volunteers, we organise the Ball ourselves so you can rest assure that your donation will go towards our fundraising projects.

If you are interested, or know someone who might be – do get in touch – we would love to hear from you.

If you would like to sponsor any other part of our event then do let us know.  (Entertainment, table centrepieces, table prizes, reception drink, raffle prizes )

Everest Base Camp Trek 2018

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One of our stalwart supporters, Graham Lawson, has decided to take on the challenge of a lifetime and do a trek to Everest Base Camp.   Graham has been a supporter for many years now since his daughter Tabby was diagnosed with cancer when she was 6.   Tabby is now well and one of our Young Ambassadors – an enthusiastic and successful fundraiser too!  Graham has already climbed Kilimanjaro and trekked in the Arctic for us but this is in a different league.  Everest Base Camp trek is tough.

He has even managed to persuade four friends to join him on this challenge in April 2018. Hats off to him, Janette and Patrick Statham, and Peter and Margaret Andrews.

The photo below was when Graham was training for the Arctic Trek – you might recognise his companion!  (none other than Scottish Rugby legend, Gavin Hastings)

If you would like to donate to their fundraising page you can do so by clicking here.

They have a fundraising event coming up on 12 April – a winetasting at Murrayfield – only £12 per ticket (and you get £10 to spend at Majestic wines in the future so it’s a real bargain).  If you want to know more about their fundraiser then please do contact us and we can put you in touch with the trek team.

#onemillionsteps Take 2

Posted by | A Day in the Life of this Fundraiser, fitness | No Comments

Two special fundraisers recently have  had great fundraising ideas.  Stevie Mac challenged himself to walk #onemillionsteps in August.  And he did it!   (raised over £2k at same time).  Angela P took on the challenge to raise £1k to fund a week’s stay at Ripple Retreat for one family. I loved both ideas so much I decided to combine them.  And add my own twist – I love Christmas so I have decided to fundraise for the Christmas week.  I have increased the amount to £1500 as want to make the week extra special for the family staying.

I can’t manage Stevie’s efforts – post cancer treatment has long term side effects.  However I do believe I can do #onemillionsteps by my December birthday.  I have a watch that counts steps so will note my daily tally.

I’d love your donation, be it a pound, ten pounds or a thousand pounds!

Here is my online donation page.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Today, my first day – I did 6782 steps.  A good start.

Thanks for reading and keep on supporting.  I remember every single day how fortunate I am to have your support – there are a great many wonderful charities out there you could support and you have chosen to support us.

Much love to you for doing that.  Maybe you would like to join me on this challenge – feel free to do so – any amount you raise is most appreciated! (I think we have one more #onemillionsteps recruit in Carol – I’ll let you know when she starts her challenge).


Super Supporter for July – Charlotte Gloag

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How amazing is this wee girl? She has supported us before but this time she decided she had too many soft toys and was going to sell them to raise funds for it’s good 2 give. As this wasn’t enough she made a video to accompany her advert to sell – it was fantastic!

it was also successful – she raised over £130

Total star. I reckon she is a top fundraiser of the future and meantime she is our Supporter of the Month for July

#onemillionsteps in one month for itsgood2give

Posted by | gratitude, kindness, Special supporters | No Comments

One Million Steps in One Month

Sound tough? I think so.

However supporter Stevie McCracken didn’t think so! He downloaded an app on his phone and off he went on 1 August.

Often on his own, sometimes with company he has walked through blisters and aches but now he is almost at the end of his month (and well on target to achieve his 1 million steps) he says he is finding it easier. Go figure!

At the same time as walking he has been raising funds for us – his total is currently £1600 and rising!

We think his achievements are awesome.   Thanks Stevie so very much for doing this – and in addition helping raise awareness of it’s good 2 give.

End of a superb week

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Today has been spent inside – weather was dreich and so I put the fire on in my office and while it warmed up I did some cooking for my parents and recently widowed sister in law.  The only problem with doing that is I get so hungry!!  And yes, I did try a blueberry muffin before the rest went away to their recipients.

Meantime Ian was dealing with the finances of Ripple Retreat – we got a new detailed list of costs and that certainly gets the fundraising brain in gear ready for the year ahead. I had just finished writing up our Fundraising Plan for the next two years with a goal to raised £250k in each year.  It means a lot of hard work and building relationships with businesses who might fund raise for us and with us and of course continuing to organise special events.

The first big event of the year for us to be involved with is the Scottish Property Awards – an amazing night organised by teh team at KDMedia.  My goodness this team know how to put on an event.  710 guests.  My team were brilliant on the night – looking super smart in our white Polo shirts.  We got close to £15k in donations and that is just terrific.  In addition I was able to speak with several contacts during the evening including the lovely guy who donated the 15000 daffodil bulbs. I was able to show him a photo of the daffodils already blooming.  (I wish they weren’t blooming quite yet – it would be so nice if they were out as we had our Open Days at the Retreat but hey, you can’t argue with nature).

The day after an event is always busy – banking the money, taking the volunteers tops to the cleaners, thanking the prize donors, the organisers, sorting the envelopes, writing notes on lessons learnt and how to improve next time.   And today I started the prep for the next event at the end of this month.  Counting the pens, sorting the envelopes, checking we have enough prizes and they are good enough. (They most certainly are by the way).  I have ordered more letter openers and researched a Tombola drum.  We used a big box for the envelopes and it wasn’t pretty.

I have been doing some banking online today and checking statements – all these wee jobs take time.  The day to day running of a charity is quite a massive job and that is on top of the Ripple Retreat tasks – and they are becoming more and more intense as we get closer to completion.  Mostly I feel incredibly positive about all of the above but occasionally I feel overwhelmed by all we do.  It’s the variety that can take your breath away – so many questions on so many topics.  What is my coping mechanism?  Well sometimes I don’t have one.  I am not going to sugar coat it – sometimes I get plain grumpy.  Mostly though I appreciate my great fortune in being given the gift of this work – to work with others to create something so very beautiful and special, that will be a building we can all be proud of, a building that families staying in it can feel its peace, the love that was involved in its build.  Ian and I both feel very very lucky to be able to do this – and most especially after the harsh life lessons of the sudden death of Andrew (my stepson) five years ago and my own cancer treatment 2 years ago.  To have come out the other side and have something this special to work on – well my goodness me, that is just wonderful.

Tomorrow is a day for us getting some exercise (the late night event of Thursday meant I slept in today so no swim) and working on our Ripple Retreat Open Days.




Catching up

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Sorry peeps – just been either working or walking/swimming!  Honestly not been enough time to write blog posts.

Big task I have been working on was the Donor Recognition Windows – so many people to get in touch with and confirm details.  That’s been my night life for past four nights!  Almost finished.   Also been working on our Fundraising plan for 2017 and 18 – also almost finished. We had our 2nd Young Ambassadors’ Workshop of the year – mindfulness – I learnt lots and hope the YA’s did too.  (I have been ‘smelling the flowers’ and ‘blowing out the candle’ ever since in a bid for calm)

Wee refresh of our website also been demanding attention, proofs of printing needing checked, envelopes sorted and written in readiness for our first big event on Thursday, that also needs me to iron the volunteers’ polo shirts – nothing worse than seeing crushed t shirts or tops on our volunteer team!

Exciting times at Ripple Retreat too – the pier is coming on leaps and bounds – and I heard today that the kitchen installation has started – this is super exciting news to me.   So much so, I am going up tomorrow to see it!  (I know there won’t be much to see yet but I want to get some photos from the start).

So there you have it – wonderful busy days and more to come.

Friday heroes

Posted by | A Day in the Life of this Fundraiser, Special supporters, Uncategorized | No Comments

Everyone needs a hero sometimes and I have two Friday heroes in Steven at our printers, Callprint Edinburgh and Sue in Dunbar.  Let’s start with Steven – I had an invite that needed amending and it was very difficult to do to match fonts etc – doesn’t sound like much but it was the fact he really tried to help and I said not to worry about it and I would manage.  He came back to me 30mins later to say he had done it!   He and Colin at Callprint Edinburgh are a fantastic team and really help us with design and printing – be hard to do all we do without them.

Then Sue messaged me to say she had achieved a staggering amount of support for our Opening of Retreat and the following open days with biscuits and coffee.

They both really made my day with their kindness and going the extra mile to help me.   And with the sun shining too it is a fabulous Friday!  Busy too (there’s a surprise).

Ian and I have spent several hours working on our Donor Recognition Windows – contacting supporters, adding to the list, making sure names are right.  There is a long way to go but we have made a cracking start.

I have been selling again – my sales allow me to buy items for the office so today I am delivering a couple of things I have sold, before delivering collecting cans to a business who is doing a collection for us next week, and that is before I go out for lunch with some of my team. After that I am meeting three Young Ambassadors to get them started on a project for their main event this year – the Young Ambassadors Afternoon Tea (sounds like something you should have Ferrero Rocher chocolates at, doesn’t it?).  We are busy working on it already even though the event isn’t until November – I want the YA’s to understand just how much work goes into any event and especially our events.  Small groups of YA’s will work on different aspects of the event and this group are working with me and Ambassador Rosie on the general organisation of the event.  We shall soon be selling tickets = watch this space!

After dinner I plan a couple of hours of work on the computer to update the donor list then it is time to put feet up and read some magazines.

I have loved this week and am looking forward to a cracking weekend – got a Mindfulness workshop for our YA’s on Sunday and will be paying lots of attention myself!


Roll on Spring

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I shall be glad to see more spring like days appearing – today was so cold and bleak.  However I stayed home and hope I have managed to nip a budding cold in the bud and hopefully, it won’t come to anything.  I also did a Heinz 57 lot of wee tasks.

All sorts of things – paying bills, selling raffle tickets and filling out the details on the stubs for my lovely buyers, promoting them and events on social media, counting pens and envelopes for an event next week, checking the prizes for said event, getting a list printed, working out volunteer roles at two upcoming events, dealing with a fab supporter and her autumn event, and a request for collecting cans for an event next week (which I have also been invited to but not sure I can), considering book racks for the Retreat and stools, and arranging when on earth next week I can go collect a bit of furniture for the Retreat (from Stirling), arranging a photographer for events and also for some media photos for Ripple Retreat (different styles of photographers needed – thank goodness we now know lots).  I am also getting ready for a meeting tomorrow with some of my Young Ambassadors to move forward with their autumn event – we need to start selling tickets for that soon.  A pretty typical day for me but sometimes my head buzzes from all the different projects.  And yes, of course I could ask volunteers to count the pens and envelopes but it does boil down to putting out the request, getting them to come here to collect and then return and by the time that is done it is indeed quicker for me to just count them myself.  Well we did share the task – Ian did the envelopes and I did the pens!

I am off to do some more work on our donor windows list – it would be good to be able to have a couple of windows ready for the ‘Grand Opening!’