young ambassadors

First Young Ambassadors workshop of the year

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Our first Young Ambassador workshop of the year was an introduction to first aid.  We all learned something. I had no idea there are several defibrillators along Princes Street, for example. I also learned how to put on a sling. All our YA’s learnt to do slings, bandages and how to call for help.  Pam was fantastic and I’m very grateful for her support.

‘I’m looking forward to working with our YA’s this year. Their enthusiasm is wonderful.  I love seeing young people volunteering and thinking of others.

Rest of my day was doing a few admin tasks and a fabulous long walk. (My feet are aching)

looking forward to a productive, busy week. Another week closer to getting our Retreat.

Dolly Mixture day!

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What a dolly mixture kind of day!

I am not quite all work and no play – though it sometimes seems to my nearest and dearest that is the case!   We manage a 45 minute swim several times a week and love it especially if we get the pool to ourselves.

Anyway, today included said swim and it was lovely.

We worked on our Ripple Retreat filing and I had some calls to make regarding furniture we have ordered for the family room – I ordered a coffee table last week, paid for it right away, then the next day I get an email from the company saying payment is incomplete.  I check the bank, nope it has been paid and try to call them but they are closed for the holidays.  So I had to sort it out today – turns out it was an automated reply I got and they were sorry. Grrrrr.

Some of our regular supporters rallied round the other day when I mentioned wanting to get white china from M&S (to match china donated last year) and so I have also been trying to get a wee discount to get best value.

Taking the car up the motorway every week to the Retreat meant it was filthy so as the sun was shining today we got it washed ready for the New Year and while I helped a bit with that I was in the garage fixing our storage boxes ready to take to the secure storage unit that Broughton Removals have kindly given to us. (we have had many donations over the christmas period for the Ripple Retreat)

What else today?

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Oh yes, I met up with a new supporter Hailey – she is going to become a new Ambassador and speak at events for us – we will be so busy this year we need all the help we can get!

I did a wee bit work on my Young Ambassadors Programme today too – I love it so much and want to improve it year on year.  I have lots of ideas on my list for the YA’s. They are growing in confidence and need stretched more.

Ian Pirrie of Edinburgh School of Food and Wine has made an offer I cannot refuse – it means organising another event but I need the money and love organising events so of course I said yes.   So, I started work on that – I need to get 6 celebrities to come on board.

I do these blog posts late evening but I don’t mind admitting that I get so frustrated trying to load photos.  Error messages ping at me constantly.  The sooner we get the website sorted the better.

I will never make a professional blogger but really want to just give you the flavour of what it’s like to run this wee charity and prepare for the last few months of building our Ripple Retreat.

Kiltwalk 2015 Thanks to our walkers

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To all our Kiltwalkers 2015 – we want to say a huge thank you – we received our first Grant this week and it was a very lovely £24,152.

More may come later in the year and that is a bonus we look forward to!

Meantime though, we extend our gratitude to you for walking and fundraising for It’s Good 2 Give!

And a special thanks to all the volunteers – both those who did cheering and chatting at our pitstop and to the entertainers who braved the elements to support us.

We couldn’t have done it without you.

 

 

 

Young Ambassadors Club – new

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Introducing our new Young Ambassadors Club

Right from the moment we set up It’s Good 2 Give we wanted to encourage giving – of time, skills, ideas as well as money.  We have had Young Ambassadors for over 3 years – now we want to take this to a new level.  We want to give them experiences and training and peer support.  All with an aim to have young people representing It’s Good 2 Give and showing them how volunteering can be fun and very good for you!  We’d love to see some of our  Young Ambassadors become Young Trustees of our or another charity in the future.

What we will give them?

Learn event organising, public speaking, retail, customer service, communication, negotiation
the really young ones will help at events, and with artwork and with physical challenges – eg designing christmas cards, posters,  leading a team in the Kiltwalk, or cycling in Pedal for Scotland

Older YA’s will be encouraged to mentor the younger ones and will be paired up with them at events.

Must commit to 2 hours each month for training and more in the run up to events.

Aim to organize and host an event in quarter 4 of 2015/quarter 1 2016

They will also help at It’s Good 2 Give events during 2015 including the Kiltwalk – either walking or volunteering.

The Young Ambassadors will be able to count the hours volunteered with us as part of other initiatives like Jass, Duke of Edinburgh, Saltire award

This will be a very exclusive Club – we are a small charity and want to do our Young Ambassadors proud so will take a maximum of 20 Young Ambassadors ranging in age from 5 (we already have Alfie Byrne as our Youngest Ambassador and he is a great help to us) to 20.

We already have enough applications for our first intake of  Young Ambassadors.

If you would like to be considered for the future, please get in touch.

 

 

 

Sing in the City Concert honours Michaela Waddell

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I wish it wasn’t happening because that would mean Michaela was still with us.  She was a lovely girl – with a huge personality – and we all loved her.  Determined not to let the first diagnosis of cancer define her, she put her energies into helping others – volunteering at the WRVS, with us and singing in the Sing in the City choir.

She tried so hard to beat cancer but it wasn’t to be and in February, aged just 22, she lost her fight.

The Sing in the City choir directors are proud to organise this concert in her name.   And we are proud to be one of the benefitting charities.

I have tickets to sell and so please do consider coming along to what will be an entertaining evening as well as remembering this lovely young woman.

Get in touch and we can post out the tickets to you or you can collect from me.

Please share this post with family, friends, colleagues and let us fill this church to capacity.

Tickets are a very modest £7 each.

 

 

Michaela

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It’s eight years since I started fundraising.

The first young cancer patients I met were Zoe and Ross. I was amazed at their positive attitude in the face of what I saw as a hideous experience. That day, the day I met them, changed me forever. Trite but true. I started listening to family’s experiences and asked lots of questions. ( four years later when we set up its good 2 give all that I had learnt meant that I wanted to support the whole family and in practical ways)

Just over a year later Zoe, who I had got to know better, lost her fight with cancer. She was five days shy of her 18th birthday.

She had been helping me organise two fashion events. I didn’t know whether to go ahead with them or not so spoke to her mum. She had no doubt what we were to do.  Go ahead.

The second of those events was held in November 2007 at Cargo and I made the event in honour of Zoe. Several of her friends asked to model to honour her and her mum did too. We had hundreds of guests on two levels. It was probably the most challenging event I had organised!
And it was such a special day.

I needed help so Ian volunteered to manage the ground floor with Peter, a dad of one of the models. A friend of mine Anne Allan (very sadly not with us anymore-taken too soon) was at the event. Her daughter Kirsty had asked if she and a friend could help. They were both still at school and I was very happy to have their help on the night.

Kirsty’s friend was Michaela.
How cruel life can be,eh?

The next time i met Michaela was with her mum at Centotre. She had been diagnosed with a brain tumour the previous year and now wanted to help a charity and remembered me. And so began her association with It’s Good 2 Give.

She would help at events, come to work with me at my office planning events in particular our fashion events. She came every Tuesday with other volunteers. What I remember in particular was how she and her mum paid great attention to her diet, replacing sugar with alternatives. She would bring her box of treats with her and they sure were tasty! They did everything they could to beat the cancer.

Michaela spoke at our first Ball, chatting to Grant with ease. She was so happy then  that her tumour had shrunk to the size of a grain of rice. That was just two years ago.
She came to Blingo and was the perfect Young Ambassador for us.

I saw less of her as she returned to college, joined a choir and we had our own tragedy to deal with but it was with horror I read a message from her explaining about the relapse.
Yesterday was a dreadfully sad day to read of her passing. Michaela was a beautiful girl inside and out and her contribution to society was already considerable. Our loss is all she would have contributed further.

But today all I can think of is her family. We’ve been lucky enough to meet mum and dad and nana often. I’ve not met her brother but heard about him from Michaela. Their loss is immense and their lives changed forever.

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