What We Do

It’s Good 2 Give Workshops

Posted by | Workshops | No Comments

I wasn’t the only member of Team Ig2g working yesterday – Trustee Susie B was working on her Ben Nevis climb and the fundraising for it.   Parent Ambassador and our Workshop Champion Shonagh B was busy at our first workshop of the year.  I asked her if she might write a wee bit about it and so let me hand over to Shonagh!

Hi everyone! I am Shonagh, a Parent Ambassador for It’s Good 2 Give!
I help organise the fun and interactive workshops for patients and their siblings every couple of months. So far we have had Stampin’ Up! Christmas Decorations workshop, ran by a wonderful lady called Ruth, and most recently, the kids were learning to rock climb at Alien Rock in Leith.

12 kids aged from 5 up to 9, with all different abilities, donned on their climbing shoes, harnesses and safety helmets and scrambled their way up the wall.
Some made it right to the roof (I couldn’t look, she was so tiny but so confident!) and other reached heights they could only have imagined. Very proud of them all.

The kids who attend are either on or off treatment, have siblings who are, or have lost their brother or sister to childhood cancer. The workshops bring these kids together, to see friends they made on the ward again, and a chance for the parents to catch up with old, and meet new friends.

The workshops always provide some sort of skill, craft or learning. The charity’s kind and generous supporters allow It’s Good 2 Give to run these workshops, and in the future I have lined up with the local Dobbies their own Little Seedlings workshop, and hopefully organising a ceramics day, a tour of a museum and a dodgeball experience!!

Creating a life I don’t need a vacation from

Posted by | new Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh, The Retreat, What We Do | One Comment

Today was a bit like yesterday.  Lots of wee things that took longer than anticipated.

I had to get a new password at our bank as couldn’t open our statements, that took a while then I had to download them, print them, check them and work out who still has to pay for the Ball, who needs a thank you letter, have all our bills been paid.  I was also writing a list of items that need printed – it’s a long list now.  Could be costly!

I did however, manage to exceed my prize quota for the day – had set myself a modest goal to get 5 prizes today and in fact now have ten. Does that mean I can let myself off the hook tomorrow?  Not likely.  With 250 prizes to get in (and soon) there can be no let up in the asking nicely process.  I am also still trying to figure out a way to get sponsors for all or part of events.  Totally new process to me and I am determined to get at least one this year.

Time off is going to be tricky in the next few months – this is a massive undertaking – both the actual build and the fundraising for it, and it must be right.  We are both adamant about that.  I saw a perfect quote (I love my quotes) yesterday.

me at my 'night' desk

at my ‘night’ desk

“Create a life you don’t need a vacation from”.
I like that.
I think I have that.

A day in the life of………

Posted by | General, new Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh, The Retreat, trustees, Uncategorized, Volunteers, What We Do | No Comments


To give you a flavour of today (typical of any day at the ig2g office really)

I have

  • put in price requests for furniture and am trying to secure discounts for the furniture we do need to buy for the Retreat ( we have been donated lots of new furniture and fittings but in the main rooms we have a ‘look’ we want to achieve)
  • reduced my email in box from 200 emails to 33 (and I aim to reduce that further before end of the night)
  • set up login and scheduled reports for the charity’s credit card (not as easy as that sounds by the way)
  • dealt with Disclosure paperwork
  • filed (one day soon I hope not to say that word)
  • followed up on 2 event ideas – research and action
  • posted several adverts for items for sale on Gumtree and on Facebook – raising funds
  • did some trek marketing
  • paid for a couple of magazine subscriptions for the ward
  • had an e-meeting with one of our admin team
  • started the email monthly newsletter to our corporate partners
  • read and then filed trustee monthly survey questionnaires
  • researched survey company to see if is worth upgrading (I think it is) then negotiated with provider to get a charity discount
  • researched shared filing systems and whether to use one, then negotiated with the provider to get a charity discount
  • set up a campaign page on virgin money giving
  • asked virgin money giving about london marathon places
  • started the big task of requests for prizes – I need at least 250 prizes this year for all the events we have or are benefitting from  – (and as if by magic a lovely supporter rang the bell and gave me 2 fabulous prizes for Blingo.)(Please could that  happen more often!)
  • posted on social media – instagram, facebook and twitter
  • started plans to do a video this week on fundraising for our trekkers
  • oh and I also made the dinner (don’t do that so often nowadays – ever since I was going through chemo my OH has kindly taken on that role but he has been even busier than me with Ripple Retreat today and so I offered.  It’s turkey, sweet potato mash, and broccoli with gravy since you ask)

hamper hamper2



Behind the scenes at It’s Good 2 Give – part 1

Posted by | Magazines, Snacks, Volunteers | No Comments

I thought you might like to see behind the scenes at It’s Good 2 Give!

Today, for example – we held our quarterly Snack Team meeting –

Our Snack Team are all volunteers and are led by Parent Ambassador Shonagh Byrne.  Shonagh manages the rota (never an easy job!), arranges for their online hygiene training, sorts out holiday cover, keeps up to date with finances and chairs the meeting.  As we only see each other once a quarter this is a tough job! The team are fabulous and take in wonderful snacks and treats for both patient and parents to the oncology ward at the Sick Kids Hospital in Edinburgh and we also have Helen who delivers treats to the TCT Unit at the Western General Hospital. The team at the Sick Kids do a snack round mid afternoon Monday to Friday and Helen stocks up the fridge and cupboard at the Western on an ‘as needed’ basis.  We also supply magazine subscriptions to the Sick Kids – some for parents and some for the children and teens.

We are very lucky to have such dedicated volunteers and even better, they love their role.

IMG_1219 IMG_1220 2

Help us provide Parent Packs

Posted by | Parent Packs | No Comments

We need to replenish our stock of parent packs – and wonder if you might donate a gift voucher/card for Marks and Spencer, Boots, Molton Brown, John Lewis or WHSmith – any amount gratefully received and put to good use.  We will go shopping in the sales to get maximum value.

We also need books of stamps for the packs – we put in a book of 6 x 2nd class stamps into each pack so if you are able to donate a pack or two of those, again we will put them to good use.

In fact, what we will do is post photos on here after the New  Year to let you see how much we managed to raise and how many packs that made up.

If you are able to help here are two ways to do so

send us a message and we will reply with address to send gift cards/stamps to.

hand the gift cards/stamps into Zest Skin Spa, 71 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5HD (Louise who owns Zest is a Trustee of It’s Good 2 Give)

Many thanks everyone!






















What We Do – magazine subscriptions

Posted by | Magazines | No Comments

When you are in hospital it’s easier to read or flick through magazines than it is to read a book – same goes for parents sitting with their children.

We used to put books into our Parent Packs but that didn’t really work because we didn’t know their taste in reading!

So we decided to take out some subscriptions to magazines.

To give you an idea of what we buy see below

For the youngsters

  • National Geographic Kids
  • Discover
  • First News
  • Shout (for the teenagers)
  • Aspire (teenagers again)

For mums

  • OK
  • Grazia
  • Red
  • Woman and Home
  • Good Housekeeping
  • Style

If you have any suggestions for magazines that would suit young people or the dads (sensible suggestions only please!) let us know.


this afternoon 21 May after tweeting about our magazine subscriptions – the company I use for four of the subscriptions ISubscribe sent this tweet


Amazing, well done! How about we match your 4 subscriptions and donate Anorak, Marie Claire, Cosmo and Reader’s Digest too?

how absolutely wonderful!



What We Do – Workshops

Posted by | What We Do, Workshops | No Comments

Each month we organise a different workshop

Vera Stewart is our Workshops Champion and her remit is to come up with a varied calendar of workshops, promote them to families in treatment (and in the 2 years after treatment), deal with the venue and co-ordinate the events.

This year she has surpassed herself with some pretty amazing ideas. Thanks too must go to Brenda Duncan too for two fantastic ideas for workshops – a chocolate making workshop and the circus skills workshop.

We have also had arts and crafts and a sushi making workshop, build a bear, Benefit make up,

Pictures say a thousand words – have a look at our gallery of workshops. (these are only a small selection!)

What We Do – snacks

Posted by | Snacks, What We Do | No Comments

Each week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons we take the snack trolley round the ward.  (rest of the week is looked after by the play specialist on the ward)

Can be

oatcakes and cheeses

nutella portions

childrens yogurts (like thomas the tank engine or similar)


fresh fruit variety

chocolate biscuits



pancakes and little cakes


icecream sundaes

and much more

At christmas we provide food so that the families in hospital can have as nice a day as is possible and do the same on Boxing Day.

scroll down to see all the photos


What We Do – Parent Packs

Posted by | Parent Packs, What We Do | No Comments

We’ve come a long way since our beginning in 2010

This was the first Parent Pamper Box as it was called


Parents loved them – mums got them first but then we were asked to do some for dads.

And then teenagers too!

And later we added in overnight packs for the unexpected stay.

Our latest packs are in clear practical washbags and come with feedback forms so we find out what works and what doesn’t.

scroll down to see them all.