It’s Good 2 Give will always remember 26 May 2014

Posted by | May 26, 2014 | The Retreat | 11 Comments


Because it is the day we got our planning consent for the Ripple Retreat!

At 1.45pm today to be exact – a unanimous decision by the planning committee of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Let me tell you the story – it has been bubbling away inside me for nearly a year and we have been working very very hard to make it a reality.

In 2010 when Ian and I set up It’s Good 2 Give we knew we wanted to provide practical support – the snacks, parent packs, workshops, ironing vouchers, requests but our dream was to create a Retreat for the families – somewhere that was within reasonable distance of the Edinburgh hospitals so that those still in treatment could get back there within an hour if they needed to.

Ian worked away behind the scenes meeting possible land donors, sellers and property people.  We investigated a couple of possibilities and kept our ears open.

Then, a year or so ago, I met Kirsten Speirs, MD of KD Media – she told me the great news that we were going to become the benefitting charity from the Scottish Property Awards and the Scottish Home Awards for the next three years. The Scottish Home awards are in June and this was middle of May. She suggested I print a flyer saying we were looking for land and she would give all the guests at the event one of these flyers.

At the same time I thought I would put this request out to our database.

Within a day or two I received a phone call – man says his name and  he wants to speak to me about land he might donate.  I wasn’t sure whether to believe him or not – it seemed almost too good to be true.  I said that Ian would call him back.  Before you knew it we were heading up to Callander to meet David Ferguson.

And then before you could say jiminycricket he was offering us some of his beautiful land. (oh and there is a very beautiful twist to this tale as the reason David was told about us was because of Zoe King, one of the first teenagers I met fighting cancer, way back in 2006)

I am saving the photos to the end because you wouldn’t keep reading my story!

To condense the last year into a few short sentences seems hard for me – a real blether – but I have to.

We were introduced to Dan MacDonald, MD of MacDonald Estates who became our property adviser and he introduced us to Tony Kettle – award winning international architect (designed the Falkirk Wheel) and a lovely person.

The planners at the Trossachs National Park Authority acknowledged our charitable status and the purpose of the retreat and said that if we had any chance at all of getting consent the building would have to be exceptional.

Tony took that to heart and off he went.

The Ripple Retreat was designed – its inspiration is the ripples on the loch – hence its working title though we are now all agreed we love the name Ripple Retreat.

The roof will be zinc and much of the rest glass and oak.  The pier will let families sit out and enjoy the view up and down Loch Vennacher.

Callander itself  is beautiful – the safari park is within 30mins drive as are many other attractions but we hope that the peace afforded families in the Retreat will mean that most of their stay will be spent there.

It will have three bedrooms, a caretaker’s /companions room, kitchen, playroom, dining room and lounge.

David and his wife Jean (and their family) have worked hard with us to achieve today’s outcome.  This is a wonderful family and we owe them a great deal in donating a huge chunk of their land to our charity.  David’s son in law is also undertaking our Arctic trek next March!

Tony and his wonderful architect, Chris Barr are a joy to work with and incredibly generous too – getting us to this stage has cost us only the National Park fee for the planning application.  These are very busy architects and we know that and appreciate almost beyond words what they have done for us.  Today Tony gave me the little model of the Retreat and it now sits proudly on my desk.

When we were told the building would have to be exceptional not in my wildest dreams did I think it would be this exceptional.

I always said we wanted to create something we could be proud of, something Scotland could be proud of and I believe we are about to do just that.

What’s the next stage?

Well, it is getting Building Standards approval – that will take several weeks.  Which gives me time to beg some more money and introduce our Pledge Book.  Our Pledge Book will be a bit like a wedding list and you will be able to ‘buy’ items for the Retreat.

More on that later – meantime let me introduce you to

The It’s good 2 give Ripple Retreat.


the Ripple Retreat


  • elaine whellans says:

    excellent news, wonderful story of hard work and success, congratulations loads to look forward to now. xx

  • Elizabeth Grubb says:

    Lynne and Ian,
    Your endless work, enthusiasm and passion has produced nothing but the most wonderful results all through your fabulous vision and desire to benefit young ones and their families in their hour of most desperate need. This will be a place which will be treasured by so many and the haven for precious time together. The Ripple Retreat is a beautiful name. I congratulate you on reaching this part of your goal SO speedily and know it will not be long before the rest is achieved the first families use it and your dream becomes a REAL TRUE FACT and not just something that vanishes at daybreak Blessings on you and all who have helped and those who will use it.
    George and Elizabeth Grubb.

    • Elizabeth Grubb says:

      I think my first comment must have been too long.
      May I send my best wishes and congratulations to dear Lynne and Ian on this wonderful next stage in achieving your dream
      George and Elizabeth Grubb

    • lynne says:

      Dear Elizabeth, thank you for your wonderful good wishes. You are part of this too and I hope you will come and see it when we open it, hopefully in 2015. lynne

  • marlyn says:

    I am so proud of all that you have done and to have been associated with this. What a magnificent achievement to have come this far and turn a dream into a reality x

    • lynne says:

      Marlyn, right from the start you supported me and my dream – we are all in it together and what a moment it will be next year when we open it! x

  • Marysia says:

    The design is stunning, as is the setting!

  • Fiona McLeary says:

    This is a wonderful story and I know the Fergusons to be a lovely family and this just proves how quietly they just give. We can all learn from this example. It is not what you give, large or small but the heart you give it with.

  • A Slattery says:


    • lynne says:

      it is being built right now – in the next few weeks we shall see the steelwork going up and then the glass. we anticipate that it will be ready by September or October.

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