I went to the Ripple Retreat with my family for a day at the Retreat with other families. The way Lynne had spoken about it I had very high expectations for what I was going to see. We drove up to the Retreat and my family and I were so surprised about how modern it looked, it was a building unlike anything I had seen before. Positioned right next to the Loch you already felt calm when you got there. Apart from the chattering of the families it was quiet and calm setting.
We were given a tour of the Retreat and it honestly exceeded my high expectations. It was firstly extremely clean which is good as you know when you have cancer you have to avoid anything dirty due to risk of infection. It also seemed like they thought of all ranges of people. My favourite part was the patient bathroom which has a wooden shower seat with a wooden handle which doesn’t look like the horrible plastic you have in usual disabled showers. That for me made it feel homely and not like a hospital.
The small things that they have thought of as well amazed me. There’s a book shelf in the twin room to allow the children to read the books, there’s nice quotes on the wall and its decorated with beautiful art all over to make the place homely. It’s also the important things that people who aren’t in a wheelchair wouldn’t usually think of. In the kitchen there’s a worktop that moves up and down so you can move it to your wheelchair height, a mirror in the patient bathroom is at level of a wheelchair so that they are able to use the mirror as well. I am not a wheelchair user, but I am an amputee and all I can say is that it made me feel normal and not disabled.
Along the road from the Retreat there is a sailing club. They gave us the opportunity during the family day to do some activities. My family and I got to go on the speed boat and actually had the opportunity to drive it! They also allowed me to have an opportunity of sailing as I wanted to have a go. It was lovely to go there and have a shot of the boat and sailing which they club did voluntarily. What I loved about the Retreat’s location is that the places near are so helpful and want to do things for the families staying there.
After my day at the Retreat I could totally understand why Lynne speaks so highly of the Retreat and now I do too. You don’t understand what a special place this is until you go and see it for yourself. It is a great escape from hospital and made us feel like a normal family. Not a family with a child with cancer or a “disabled” child.
Trustee, It’s Good 2 Give
Thanks to Charity Ambassador Glenda Quinn for the fantastic photos taken on the day.
Before you read Shonagh’s post below – here are three wee films by some of our fantastic Charity Patrons – made to encourage you to sign up for us!
First up our wonderful friend Grant Stott
and now the Queen of Daytime TV herself, Lorraine Kelly
and last but certainly not least Peter Capaldi
6 miles in the pouring rain, Alfie, his wee pal Amy, and their dads, all wandered in the Kiltwalk, all waterproofed up, jumped in every puddle and even had an ice cream en route. They also raised funds and awareness for It’s Good 2 Give. Alfie and Amy were 5 and 6 years old. It took them 4 hours.
Alfie’s Mum – ME!!! And whole bunch of amazing troops doubled and quadrupled (and some) on the mileage and strolled 13 miles and strode 26 miles in the same pouring rain, through many bits of Edinburgh I didn’t know existed, raising funds and awareness for It’s Good 2 Give. Seriously the rain battered each of us… through Cramond, along Portobello (stopping for hot pizza), into town finding the railway tunnel , singing as we strolled down Arthur’s seat, meeting AMAZING supporters at the bottom, making our way back to Murrayfield. It took us 7 hours.
We were all part of the KILTWALK, and proud of every single step we each took. For me , I walked 26 miles for Evie’s 26 months of her life. Cancer took Evie from us when she was only 2 years and 2 months old. IG2G supported Evie and us through practical support, and boy I know she will be proud of what we have done in her memory.
IG2G continue to support families with practical requests and of course with the Ripple Retreat here, the families can now have extra special time together in a place that’s so tranquil, so peaceful, so beautiful, to make new memories together and for a time of reflection too.
By walking in the Kiltwalk, 6 miles, 13, or 26 miles, and it taking you 2, 4 or 10 hours, you are fundraising for this wee amazing charity and no matter what you raise… the Kiltwalk is going to donate 140% of that back to It’s Good 2 Give! (They keep gift aid but in return donate additional 40% to the charity from the Hunter Foundation). You will be supporting many families in Scotland by fundraising for IG2G. Whatever the Kiltwalk you choose, it’s not near as tough as what some young people and their families are going through. Trust me on that one. I’ve walked in those shoes.
So … my question to you is … when would you like to take part? I couldn’t make my mind up so I am mighty striding all four! Do tell us too that you have signed up so that we can keep in touch with you.
The dates for each Kiltwalk are noted here:- (click on venue/date to be taken to registration page)
How much does its cost?
Mighty Stride ￡31.65
Big Stroll ￡31.65 ( we have a discount code for any participant doing the 13mile walks at all venues – before you register please get in touch and we will give you the code)
Wee Wander Adult ￡12.66
Wee Wander Child ￡6.33
You will receive a pack from the Kiltwalk to help you with your walk, and from IG2G you will receive a FABULOUS tshirt specifically designed for the IG2G walkers in the Kiltwalk which we would love you to wear on the day.
Why not get your friends and family to do this with you? Your school or club? Get fit and feel good and know that you are making a difference too. See you at the starting line in Glasgow… and in Aberdeen… oh, and in Dundee, and did I say Edinburgh too?
Shonagh Byrne, Parent Ambassador and Kiltwalk coordinator for It’s Good 2 Give
Christmas Tree at Ripple Retreat
We are planning a lovely tall Christmas tree for our Ripple Retreat – I picked out the spot for it last year long before the Retreat was open. (I love Christmas).
I thought it would be nice if we asked our supporters to donate decorations to make the tree even more special. We would take a note of each decoration and make a wee book with all the decorations in it so that families staying would know how much love was put into the tree and its decorating!
We take a box to each event this year asking guests to bring a bauble (unbreakable only) and they are taking up the challenge. I have had some posted to me too and I expect we will get more the closer to Christmas we get. If you would like to donate a decoration, please do get in touch and I will let you know where to post/take it.
Here are some pics of the decorations already donated.
We enjoyed a lovely day at the Retreat yesterday as we officially opened the Pier.
Last year Cathal Morgan (architect in Tony Kettle’s practice and our day to day architect for the Retreat) designed a pier that complemented the Retreat perfectly. We got planning consent and then we were introduced to the lovely folks at the Wooden Spoon Charity and after consideration they agreed to fund the Pier. What we didn’t know at the time was that our estimate was way off base!
However, we met up with the folks from George Leslie, a contractor more used to building huge piers. They said that they would love to build our pier and it was to be the smallest they had built and that the funding we had in place from the Wooden Spoon charity would be fine. (I think they have called it a cost-minus project though also acknowledge how rewarding it was to support us).
It was a massive construction job – we had a huge crane (if you know the site, you can imagine how tricky it was to get the crane to the site) and some days the weather was kinder than others but the guys kept going.
The curved end of the pier – the shelter – was funded by a private donation and that is made of glulam beams- made in Austria because no one in the UK was able to bend the beams to the curve required.
It really is a beautiful pier and allows families the chance to sit and look down the loch enjoying the stunning views. If they are experienced sailors and want to hire a sail boat or canoe the nearby Loch Venachar sailing club is happy to help. And if they have no experience, the sail club is happy to offer tuition or just take the family out on the water.
Yesterday, President of the Wooden Spoon in Scotland, the rugby legend that is Gavin Hastings, officially opened the pier. Several trustees from the Wooden Spoon came along too as did CEO of George Leslie, John McNaught and Ross Ritchie, also from George Leslie and Tony Kettle, architect of Ripple Retreat.
We were extra lucky in that as her next race is in Newcastle, one of our Patrons, Lynsey Sharp, was able to attend. She had visited the Retreat when it was a muddy building site and so was blown away by its beauty now that it is finished.
The pier represents a fabulous collaboration between two charities ( us and the wonderful Wooden Spoon charity), two businesses (George Leslie, the pier contractors and indeed several other businesses who supported them. Glulam Solutions for the curved shelter), our incredibly talented architect team at Kettle Collective and a private donor for funding the curved shelter – we are grateful to them all for providing this stunning addition to our Ripple Retreat. It will enhance the experience of every family who stays at Ripple Retreat.
Thanks to one of our Lead Ambassadors, Elaine Whellans for some cracking photos from the day.
Ripple Retreat nature notes
Because Ian and I have been staying here often over past few weeks or arriving early morning we have been lucky enough to see all sorts of creatures.
Bats late at night which is wonderful as they eat midges and of those there are plenty. (though we are also purchasing midge eating machines to deal with those on a longer term basis)
A brown owl – sadly we saw this because it hit one of the windows – don’t worry it was fine – stunned but got up and flew away after an hour’s rest.
The fabulous bird feeder station has meant we get siskins, finches, sparrows, blue tits, wagtails and a gorgeous woodpecker. Oh and recently also a jay – very pretty but also very greedy.
Our neighbour says we have red squirrels but they are avoiding me so far – it is my goal to see one before the year is out!
Today I saw the tiniest frog ever in our burn. Barely bigger than a finger nail.
So there is plenty to watch and we have the kit to watch it – lovely binoculars bought for us by our friends The McPhersons.
Good enough to see the fish jump out of the water! That is fun to watch and impossible (for me) to photograph.
Julie Robertson has supported It’s Good 2 Give for several years and has regularly donated her paintings to us for auction.
We wanted to keep one for the Retreat art gallery and chose the one below – it is of Cramond Island off the shores of Edinburgh and looks right at home in our Retreat.
Julie also introduced us to her husband Donald and he volunteers for us as a Trustee and our Treasurer (and is himself a treasure!).
Thanks to both Julie and Donald for their lovely gifts to us.
We had a lovely visit from our art advisers Ingrid and Stuart in June – they arrived bearing lots of arty gifts for us.
Hatti Pattisson for her lovely original art painted especially for us and now hanging with pride of place in our main area.
Ingrid Nilsson for her original painting again done especially for us and it is of Loch Venachar.
Ritchie Collins, Stanley Bird and Lynn Hanley for the prints they donated to us
Capital Glazing and Ashworth and Thompson who supplied the glass and framing supplies
Doricmor printers for printing all the giclee prints
What fantastic and amazing donations.
That was incredibly kind of you all and very much appreciated.
Our art gallery looks truly splendid and the bedrooms are much cheered by the wonderful prints.
Ingrid and Stuart have been a godsend to us as they have chosen where art is to go and best way to hang it. We simply couldn’t have done it ourselves.
We are also enjoying drinking our tea from lovely mugs gifted to us by Ingrid and Stuart – with a fabulous sheep painting on them.
Harmonies in Wood
almost 8 years ago I won an award as Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year and the award itself was beautiful. I have always loved wood and find it very tactile. So the day after receiving the award I got in touch with the designer of the award.
That was Scott Irvine and he told me no one had ever commented on his awards. And that was the start of our relationship. Over the years Scott has given me stunning pieces for auction items at big events. He has designed pieces I have given (on a personal basis) to two retiring Trustees for long and special service and our Young Ambassadors have the chance to receive an award designed by Scott later this year.
For the Retreat Scott wanted to create something special and unique. He certainly achieved that by creating a beautiful mirror. It has ripples, a loch and Ben Ledi. It has been much admired by our Open day visitors and I am sure that our family guests will love it too.
You can see more of Scott’s work at Soprano Ice, Bruntsfield Place, Edinburgh or at his website.
Once Scott saw the Ripple Retreat and its new logo he very kindly designed and made the stunning coasters shown in pic below for us. So many supporters have expressed an interest in them that they are now also for sale at £15 each with £2 from each purchase coming to It’s Good 2 Give. It’s hard to choose which is my favourite colour – they are all so lovely. Thank you Scott.
If you would like to buy one or more do get in touch with Scott directly or email me.
Ripple Retreat – who can stay?
It’s Good 2 Give Board of Trustees agreed the criteria for staying at the Ripple Retreat
Any young cancer patient* and their family, based in Scotland, who is currently in treatment or up to a maximum of 1 year after active treatment
Bereaved families of young cancer patients, based in Scotland, within the first year after their loss
*Child/young person aged 0-18
We will review this after our first 6 months of operation – we will build on our relationships with professional staff in hospitals around Scotland and listen to their suggestions.
The Retreat can accommodate a maximum of five people plus a baby.
No pets or smoking allowed in the house or grounds.
Stays are for a maximum of five nights.
If you would like to know more about our booking procedure or have questions then do get in touch.