childrens cancer charity scotland

12days to go till we open Ripple Retreat

Posted by | The Retreat, Uncategorized | No Comments

Ian and I were up at the site today to water the newly planted plants and Millie’s trees – we have had a dry spell for a few days and we can’t have them drying out.

 

There was no one else there today of course so it was very peaceful. Ian was busy sorting the tree ties and I decided to sit at the pier and look down the loch and had some moments to think.

And this is what I was thinking…..

Three and a bit years ago when we first met David and Jean we had not expected them to give us such a beautiful piece of their land. We had not expected it to be so peaceful, stunning and have views like it has. We had not expected to be given a piece of land in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

Our next concern was – would the planners let us build here? We could but ask. They (the planners at the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park) said if we were to have any chance of building here we were going to have to produce a design that was ‘exceptional’ and fitted in to its surroundings.

A tall ask.

Incredibly around the same time we were introduced to Tony Kettle. Tony had designed the Falkirk Wheel among many other buildings of note. He was interested in helping. Give me a few weeks he said and we did. Not in a million years did I think we would like the very first (and only) design he would show us.

But he’s good. He is really really good.

The design was both exceptional and fitted in to its surroundings.

We loved it. Fortunately so did the planners!

And so today, the last day of April 2017, I sat there and pinched myself – listen, I am not going to kid you and say the past three years has been easy – this project threw up all sorts of obstacles and hurdles – the design team have all worked together to work through them though and let’s not forget that for almost a year I was getting chemo and radiotherapy – not easy for either me or Ian but working on this project helped us both a lot.

In particular this year has been tough – unavoidable delays here and there are frustrating to say the least and differing views on style has meant compromises too by all parties.

Plus it is hard working on this to the extent we have this year, plus continuing to fundraise for it, organise events, and run the charity!

All that by way of saying, I think, that I had been getting blasé about the Retreat, taking it for granted and yet today as I sat at peace, loch side, it hit me.

Tony Kettle is an absolute marvel, David and Jean are awesome and our contractors quite remarkable – everyone else involved is pretty cool too. Our Patrons, Trustees, Ambassadors, Young Ambassadors and volunteers are some of the finest people on the planet.

And our Ripple Retreat is truly truly stunning. Breathtaking. It took my breath away today, brought tears to my eyes as I realised we are less than two weeks away from opening it. (well those tears might have been tears of terror at the thought of just 2 weeks to go and quite a lot to do in that time.) (kidding – they were tears of wonder, of joy, of immense gratitude).

What an amazing collective achievement.

Now, I must go, there are a fair few tasks to do before Lorraine Kelly cuts that ribbon!!

 

Perfect Sunday for a spot of office work

Posted by | A Day in the Life of this Fundraiser, The Retreat, trustees | No Comments

It has been a very grey January Sunday  so after our lovely 50min early morning swim I decided to settle down in the office and get on with projects.   I feel very very pleased that I was able to sort a computer app issue.  We have a lovely guy who helps us but is also super busy – he wasn’t able to come for a few days and I was really fed up with the problem (Outlook wouldn’t load at all) so I sat down and researched the issue on Google.  There were several solutions and at first I wasn’t sure which one to try – I ended up trying the one that sounded most plausible.  It took hours to do but after three hours I got my Outlook to load and all my emails came back – I was so pleased!  Then, of course, I had to sort the emails – there were 250 to go through and I have managed to reply or file 175 of them today!

I had a nice break from all of that when Trustee Susie B visited – she is busy with a new job but also has recruited 21 trekkers to do a climb up Ben Nevis in May.  We talked about her plans and her fundraising ideas and she tried out the Egg chair we have for the family room at Ripple Retreat.  Her verdict?  Very comfy and great for reading a book.  Which is exactly the plan for it!

So, it has been a day of paperwork – well, virtual paperwork!  Surveys, To Do Lists, emails, fundraising plans, e-vites (starting the plans for the Official Opening event), a newsletter to our corporate supporters, starting the plans for a Family Day at the Retreat.

And here I am writing this blog.  About to stop though and sit for a couple of hours reading my book.  (Maggie O’Farrell – This must be the Place – in case you are interested!)

I promised myself I would try to read and relax more this year even though we are super busy – so we have given up some TV watching and taken up book reading (well OH has continued with newspaper reading).   And I am enjoying it!

Thanks for reading – it’s so nice to hear from some of you and to know that someone is reading my blog!!

Ripley the Bear – perfect for Valentine’s Day

Posted by | merchandise | No Comments

Snuggly bears aren’t just for kids!  This one is almost an investment – Made by Merrythought Bears in England this quality bear is a collectible as well as cuddly bear and we have  called him  Ripley! This teddy bear is non-jointed and is 8″ sitting.  He is also wearing a specially designed It’s Good 2 Give t shirt.  All profits from this bear go towards  our Ripple Retreat.

I think he would look perfect for a Valentine’s gift and if you are thinking of popping the question he’d look cute as holding the jewellers box.

Best bit – as well as giving your loved one a Valentine gift you are also helping a small charity fundraise.   Win, win.

He is £50 and we get half of that.  Post and packing at cost or collect from Edinburgh location.

Patron Grant takes a break from radio

Posted by | patrons | No Comments

I was all geared up to tell you about my lovely day and I will, just not today!

Because….

I want to wish our first and longest serving Patron, Grant Stott, all the best as he hangs up his headphones for a while – after 27 years at Radio Forth he is taking a break to pursue some different opportunities.

He is a cracking Patron and friend and we all hope 2017 is all he wants it to be.

Here is a link to the official statement!

http://www.forth1.com/pages/granttakesabreak/

All the Best, Grant

Love, Bunty and the entire IG2G team.

Grant hosting Blingo

Grant hosting Blingo

New Ambassadors

Posted by | Ambassadors | No Comments

After their son, Paul, died nearly 7 years ago, his parents Ruth and Stephen, (and his sister and brother-in-law) have been superb fundraisers for us – honouring Paul at the same time. I knew Paul a wee bit and am certain that he would be astounded and proud of all they have achieved.  We have had many cyclists taking part in cycling challenges in Paul’s name – our team is called Pedal 4 Paul.   Several cyclists  have become regulars for us.   I have been part of it all by always being at the finish line or at the mid-way point with sandwiches and refreshments.

In addition to all that, Ruth and Stephen have organised an annual bag packing day at Marks and Spencer food hall raising over £1000 each time and on one memorable occasion over £1800!

Both of these lovely people have promoted our charity over the years and it is with much pride that I asked them to become Ambassadors for us.  After all, they have been that just not had the title.

It was lovely how honoured they both felt about being asked but honestly they have been quite remarkable supporters.

A very warm welcome to them both.

Ruth and Stephen with Lynne and another great supporter Fiona at the bag packing in December

Ruth and Stephen with Lynne and another great supporter Fiona at the bag packing in December

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.

Dolly Mixture day!

Posted by | Ambassadors, new Royal Hospital for Sick Children Edinburgh, The Retreat, young ambassadors | No Comments

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?

IMG_5666

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.

it’s Good 2 Give Bhutan Trek 2018

Posted by | treks | No Comments

I loved my trek in Bhutan – a stunning country.

You can read more about my trip here.

We are planning an It’s Good 2 Give trek there for October 2018.

To encourage you to consider our trek, we are holding an information evening with a representative from Ultimate Challenges.

If you would like to attend please let us know.

The information evening will be on  22 February 2017 at 6-8pm the Virgin Money Lounge, 28 St Andrew Square, Edinburgh

tiger's nest temple

tiger’s nest temple

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

It’s Good 2 Give Ripple Retreat

Posted by | The Retreat | No Comments

Two lovely visuals to share with you.

First up is our architect’s impression of the Retreat and its pier.

retreat and pier

 

 

 

 

Looks amazing – a great spot to sit and enjoy the view or do a spot of fishing perhaps!

Also on Sunday our architect and friend, Tony Kettle, visited our Retreat site to see progress and try out his new drone.  The result is stunning – an aerial view of the whole site and Tony’s gorgeous design – my favourite bit?  The roof.  It truly blows me away – I have seen the guys working on it and am so impressed at their skills and now totally understand why it has taken time to install.  I bet that isn’t the right word for putting on the roof but you know what I mean!

If you click here, you can see it on our Youtube channel.

LM

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