hard rock cafe edinburgh

Christmas Message to all

Posted by | Special supporters, trustees | No Comments

Although I have sent out dozens of Christmas cards there are many more people who I want to send Christmas greetings and Thanks to and this seems a nice way to do it!jingleBells

To our supporters (and that includes you)

Thank you.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support this year – what an amazing year it has been. With your help we have raised over £300,000 – incredible and wonderful and will help us with our Retreat building.  The support has been varied – from schoolchildren doing the £1 pic challenge (post coming soon on that), cyclists taking on the Pedal 4 Paul bike ride, lots of events (even 2 Blingo events this year!) to 31 of us climbing up Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa.  I’ve spoken about the charity’s work and goals in schools, businesses, churches, cafes.

From being allowed to sit in(and being treated like family by Victor, Carina and their team) Centotre for hours on end working and sipping one or two coffees, to enjoying a curry lunch at Lothian Buses depot, to a fab bacon roll at Craigie’s Farm and great burgers at Hard Rock Cafe to our volunteers and cyclists being spoilt with fabulously fresh sandwiches made by Flavour – thanks to all our charity partners for their support of fundraising, donations both financial and prizes and awareness raising.

A special wee thanks here to all those who support us via social media – what a help you have been this year! Helping source prizes, sponsor events, even to having forms you can fill in online – all thanks to the power of social media friendships!

 To the families we have supported and still support

We know, from messages and feedback, that you do love our services and we hope that by providing them they have helped even a little bit with all you have been or are still going through – from organising the workshops, providing the snacks and parent packs, the ironing vouchers to sometimes being able to help with other requests and to saving up to build the Retreat.  We love the feedback you give us and and always consider it when planning future services.

To our volunteers

Quite simply, you are wonderful people.  Our Trustees and Patrons aren’t just figureheads – they roll up their sleeves and get mucked in.  We are so fortunate to have pro bono support from our Treasurer, Chartered Accountants, lawyers, property advisers, architect, landscape architect, IT support, and a lovely core team of volunteers who support us by being Champions – we have our Pedal 4 Paul Champions – Paul’s mum, Ruth and his godmother Aileen.  Our snacks Champion is Helen T – ever ready to shop and deliver to both wards. We’ve got Ann F who is an absolute treasure delivering and collecting and ironing and folding – no job is too tricky for our Ann. Wendy our newest Champion, taking on the Cookie Club role for 2014.  Our events wouldn’t be as pretty without Tia and Karen’s creativity and ideas – from table decorations to wrapping prizes – they have no equal!

Not forgetting our  wonderful Young Ambassadors – a group of young people  who volunteer their time, skills and ideas to raise funds and awareness.

Special mentions here for my husband and family -you are the best.   And for my admin crew – Susan, Marlyn, Vera and Shonagh – all going beyond the call of duty!

To our fellow small and local charities

How amazing are we all?  Competing with the big boys and girls of the charity world for donations and support isn’t easy but we do it.  We do it because we are so passionate about what we do, because actually we know the very people we set up to support. We do it because we can.  Because we all do make a difference.   So to The Teapot Trust,  Star for Harris,  Love Oliver,  Simba,  Calum’s Cabin,  CCLASP, TCCL, FACE,  St Columba’s Hospice (not so small but still local) I doff my cap at you and say let’s keep up the great work.


To families missing someone this Festive Season

There are a great many people thinking of you and that will include me and my family.  As we think of our own Andrew missing from our family gathering we will be thinking of you too and sending our thoughts your way.


To all of you

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2014


Lynne McNicoll


 The future depends on what we do in the present.  Mahatma Ghandi

Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh lapel brooch

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This stunning brooch was designed by Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh‘s very own Marketing Manager, Lesley Ross

Featuring our beautiful Forth Rail Bridge – I put in a photo of the iconic bridge as taken by me just yesterday.

The Forth Bridge was opened on 4 March 1890 and building it took the lives of 98 men.

I am very proud of the Bridge and of our lapel pin!

Thanks, Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh – we very much appreciate your support.

If you would like to buy one or more of our lapel pins please get in touch.  Payment can be by BACS, cheque or credit card (small admin fee of 50p applies if paying by credit card)

Cost of the pin is £8

post and packing to anywhere in the UK is £2 extra

Every penny from the sales of this lapel brooch comes to our charity.






hrc pin fb

30th wedding anniversary gifts

Posted by | kindness | 2 Comments

You know how I like to be different.

I don’t want wedding anniversary gifts – or perhaps I should say WE don’t want wedding anniversary gifts!  Though, for sure, I think being happily married to your best mate for 30 years is worth celebrating.  My ways of celebrating are going to be very It’s Good 2 Give.

I want to benefit our charity.  Not necessarily financially (though as I have said before, if you want to write me a nice fat cheque I will accept!) but in ways that in the long run will benefit us financially.

Here’s the plan.  I have 30 small (actually in there are some not so small) gifts to give away.

What’s that I hear you say?  You want to know what some of them are?

Ok, then.

There you go then – a selection of what I plan to give away.

What do you have to do to ‘win’ something?    Easy, really.

Talk about us, tweet us, facebook us. Send us photos of you fundraising – or training for a physical challenge be it Kilimanjaro or Pedal for Paul or next year’s marathon.

Plenty of chances this week and weekend – anyone going to Blingo tomorrow night could post a photo or tweet it to be in with a chance or if you are on a training walk for Kili or a training cycle for Pedal for Paul.  Or perhaps you are zipping over the Clyde on Saturday (and oh how I hope you are after all the disappointments of previous dates for this gig!!).  Maybe you are part of Team Duns – taking part in the Jim Clark weekend and being with us in Duns main square with the It’s Good 2 Give house.  Then there is the ceilidh that three of the trekkers are hosting on Saturday night (tix still available – email if you want some).

Share our facebook page and our twitter feed and help us get numbers up.

I will choose ‘winners’ at random from photos submitted, new likers on Facebook, new followers on Twitter and from our regulars too.

Here’s the goal – to increase our twitter feed to 2000 followers and our Facebook followers to 1500 by end July.

You can help me do that.  And I will take great pleasure in giving away my little anniversary gifts to you.

Happy anniversary to us. (it’s not till July by the way so our little giveaway will go from now till end July – that’s 3 gifts a week I will give away)

Benefit event at Hard Rock Cafe

Posted by | Charity of the Year, Events, Special supporters | No Comments

What a treat for us – Susan and I got an invite to a Benefit bloggers event at Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh  tonight.

They are launching a new product – Fine One One.   And wonderfully it was right here in Edinburgh it got its first outing.

The Benefit gals are quite remarkable women and make a perfect team with Lesley from Hard Rock Cafe – you could be forgiven for thinking they had been at the sugar jar all afternoon such is their energy!

Guests were spoilt with a Hard Rock Cafe cocktail (or if you are me and Susan – a soft drink! ), little baby burgers – cheese, plain or veggie, bite sized brownies or  key lime pie!  Tasty, tasty very very tasty……

We were shown some eyebrow shaping – a new service they are providing at John Lewis and then (drum roll please) they showed us the new sheer brightening colour.  Looks easy enough even for me to use.

It was a lovely evening – and they even did a wee quiz at the end with some super prizes.  Sadly we didn’t win but we were lucky enough to leave with our very own Fine One One – I have tried it out and especially at this time of year look healthier already.

Thanks, Hard Rock and Benefit for inviting us along and for all your wonderful support of our fundraising!IMG_0527 IMG_0528 IMG_0529 IMG_0530

Rita, the Hard Rock Cafe elephant

Posted by | Charity of the Year, Special supporters | No Comments

Introducing Rita

Rita is the elephant decorated by Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh staff and she is covered in over 120 HRC pins – some of them are worth over £50 each.

For the enthusiast pin collector – The full list is below!

We are taking bids on Rita anytime from now –  We have a reserve price on her but we are hoping you will smash through that!

it’s a wee bit unusual doing an auction this way but we thought we would give it a go!

So, if you would like to bid on our Rita and support our charity at the same time do get in touch regarding your bid.

We will end the auction on 21 December at 6pm.

Hopefully Rita will have a new home by then.

Send us your bid via our contact us page.

Happy Bidding!


Location Date Number Description
Edinburgh 2009 1 Valentine
Edinburgh 1 IG2G
Barcelona Sep-11 1 Top of the Rock
Hard Rock Café 2008 1 Happy New Year
Leeds 1 Pink guitar
Edinburgh 2006 1 Valentine
Beirut 1 15th Anniversary
Atlanta 1 Benefitting Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Phoenix 2 One guitar, one microphone, 1 grey guitar and other is flowery skull
Edinburgh 1 Green guitar
Dublin Jun-11 1 Top of the Rock
Hard Rock Café 2 1 Flowers and guitar 1 Green guitar
Foxwoods 2012 1 Anniversary
Barcelona 2003 1 St. Patrick’s Day
San Juan 1 Gold guitar
Hard Rock Café 2011 1 76ers
Pittsburgh 2011 1 Volleyball
Cancun 1
Denver 2012 1 14th Anniversary
Miami 2012 1 19th Anniversary
Marbella 1 Beach scene
Cardiff 1 Dragon
Phoenix 1 Cactus and skull
Honolulu 1 24th Anniversary
Niagara Falls 2011 1 Bus
Edinburgh 1 Street 2 Sanctuary
New York 3 Musicians On Call
Detroit 2007 1 Hinged door
Hard Rock Café 1 Kiss, guitarist
Baltimore 1 Crab guitar
Copenhagen 1 Square with guitarist
Copenhagen 1 Square with drummer
Copenhagen 1 Square with smashing guitar
Copenhagen 1 Square with different guitarist with pink hair
Copenhagen 1 Square with singer
Copenhagen 1 Square with guitarist crowd surfing
Edinburgh 1 Scotland/Wales rugby
Hard Rock Café 1 Mask
Florence 1 Statue of David
Moscow 1 Guitar
Barcelona 1 Hard Rock Café
London 1 Hard Rock Café
London 1 Houses of Parliament
London 1 Guitar
Manchester 1 Guitar
Barcelona 1 Guitar
Lisbon 2009 1 Puppet
Hyde Park London 2012 1 Lion rampant
Pittsburg 1 All is One
Sacramento 1 7th Anniversary
Rome 2012 1 Diver
Edinburgh 2010 1 Film reel
Manchester 2012 1 Horse rider
Madrid 2012 1 Basketball player
Hard Rock Casino Punta Cana 2010 1 Staff opening
London 1 Phone box
Paris 2012 1 Athlete
Venice 2012 1 Rowers
Manchester 2010 1 Man U footballer
Las Vegas Jul-04 1 Women with harp
Miami 2008 1 Warrior princess
Rome 1 Centurion helmet for 8th anniversary
London 1 London bus
Cabo San Lucas 1977 1 Founders day with stripy taxi and number 38
Baltimore 1 Pirate’s hook
Panama 1 6th Anniversary, butterfly
Phoenix 1 Man with Mexican hat and guitar
Orlando 2008 1 Skull with red eyes
Orlando 2008 1 Skull with amber eyes
Orlando 2008 4 Skull with green eyes
Hard Rock Café 3 Pirates
Nashville 2009 1 Staff badge with Nashville setting
Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya 1
Bali 1 Staff 18th Anniversary
Madrid 1 Sweet 16 Anniversary
Nashville 2012 1 18th Anniversary
Cabo San Lucas 1 10th Anniversary with swordfish
Punta Cana 2010 1 Hotel staff
Orlando 2012 1 11th Anniversary
Salt Lake City 1 9th Anniversary badge with cyclist
Paris 1 19th Anniversary badge with Arc de Triumphe
Niagara Falls 1 13th Anniversary badge with barrel going over falls
Pittsburg 1 10th Anniversary badge with little red house
Washington DC 2012 4 Rockin’ Independence 3 with different presidents on each and 1 with 4 presidents
Niagara Falls 2012 1 16th Anniversary
Key West 2012 1 16th Anniversary badge with lighthouse
Four Winds 2012 2 Grand Opening 1 staff opening 1 public
Baltimore 2012 1 15th Anniversary
Penang 1 1st Anniversary
Barcelona 1 Arch
Niagara Falls 1 Maid of the Mist
Florence 1 The duomo
Madrid 1 Art Gallery
Niagara Falls 1 Bear
Manchester 2011 1 BBQ scene
Barcelona 1 Different view of arch
Barcelona 1 Gaudi building
Manchester 2011 1 Farming
Manchester 2011 1 Red house
Manchester 1 Coat of arms ‘love all serve all’
Berlin 1 Staff Anniversary
Washington DC 1 Panda playing the drums
Washington DC 2011 1 Panda one man band ‘the fonz’
Washington DC 2011 1 Panda playing keyboard
Honolulu 1 Women warrior
Fukuoka 1 Anniversary badge with Japanese singer
Barcelona 1 Dancer
Pittsburg 1 Harley Davidson
Pittsburg 2011 1 Castaway
Atlantic City 2005 1 St. Patrick’s Day
Honolulu 1 Women guitarist
Punta Cana 1 Carnival dancer
San Diego 2012 1 14th Anniversary badge with windsurfer
Hard Rock Café 1 Playing cards and dice
Miami 2007 1 Cheerleader

Hard Rock Cafe Charity Ambassadors

Posted by | Charity of the Year, Events, Kilimanjaro | No Comments

Last monday saw me at the first meeting of the Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh Charity Ambassadors Committee.

Our relationship has grown in the last 18months.  For a small charity, for this small charity anyway, I am finding it wonderful to have a charity/business relationship that lasts longer than one year.  It takes some time to get to know people and to work out how best to work together.  So it is with much pleasure that we continue to work with HRC Edinburgh.

Their charity ambassadors are full of ideas for the year ahead and were keen to hear what events I already had planned.  They are going to help at some events, promote others and come up with a few of their own too.  After the success of our first lapel pin Lesley has come up with a design for another one as suggested by some of my young team.

I had taken our Ellie elephant with me and explained her story.  To say they loved her and wanted to keep her is a bit of an understatement!   But, as you all know, I adore Ellie and she reminds me daily how lucky I am to be able to do what I do.   I like finding solutions though so I suggested to the team that they take our blue elephant (we have three elephants).  I had plans for the blue one but needed more time to implement those plans.  Better it was put to use now than gathering dust in my home.  I can always get another elephant if I need one!

So the blue elephant has now been adopted by HRC Edinburgh.  I am excited to find out what they are going to do with it!

As I was leaving the restaurant, the manager Jonathon told me he is seriously considering joining our Kilimanjaro trek.  Yay. wonderful news.  Especially for the guys on the trek who currently number just 2.  (as opposed to the 20 females).

Thanks all at HRC Edinburgh – we love working with you.

A taste of my week gone by

Posted by | Events, General, patrons, Rotary clubs | No Comments

A selection of photos from this week!

The cake is one we  had made for a mum on the ward, lots of photos from the simply fantastic Dragon Boats Race – The Givers, Laura’s Dragon and Team Crewsaders all raised funds for It’s Good 2 Give and had a brilliant time in the water even though the weather was dismal.

I put Donald in as he is such a great supporter and a good laugh (and don’t we all need that?) and I helped him set up his online giving page which then took off with donations.

The photos (not very good but we just got a quick peek as the room was in use) of the furniture are in the study room in ward 2 at the Sick Kids.  We bought them and the tables.  It was nice to work with the Sick Kids Foundation on this – they did the cupboards and decorating and we bought the furniture.   Looks so much better than it used to!

The chocolate brick tasted delicious and was the result of me (personally) making a donation to 2 fabulous women taking their business to the next level and crowdfunding – I am now a founder of Nucoco chocolate and will forever get 10% discount (and let’s face who doesn’t want discount on great chocolate?).  Went to their launch and met them and many other lovely folk – more twitter folk and facebook folk – and new friend of It’s Good 2 Give Hazel who is going to spread the word amongst her friends about our upcoming and still quite secret Biggest Ever Blingo event.

it really has been quite a week – very busy professionally and a bit worrying personally as we had a bit of a hospital scare again this week with a member of the family.  All is well now I hope.

And so, onto next week – tons happening.  It is so amazing.

Quick rundown for you

I am speaking to Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh‘s new Charity Ambassadors tomorrow, then meeting a guy from the BBC later.   Tuesday bright and early Susan and I are heading to Eyemouth to speak at a school.  This school has raised over £1000 for one of our trekkers so well done them.  Taking Ellie with us to that one.  later that evening I am a judge at Queensferry High School at an event there.  Wednesday I have to bake in the afternoon as am at the Edinburgh Cake Ladies summer event at our special friends the Craigie’s Farmshop and Cafe in the evening.

There is more but I will share it all later in the week with some more photos!


I went to Amsterdam and came home with…..

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In abundance.  Seriously.  I had a fun 3 days with my grandsons – we were there to have a break together but also to check out cycling in that city as part of our other charity’s aims.   I will write about that in a blog on our Andrew Cyclist website soon.

We visited lots of attractions including several museums – two of those museums filled me with awe.  The Anne Frank house and the Dutch Resistance Museum.   We all came away from those places in a reflective mood and talked about them afterwards for hours.  Imagine living through those experiences.  It’s hard for any of us to imagine, I suspect.  But as I lay trying to sleep (our hotel was by the station with trains thundering by every few minutes) I tried to imagine how terrifying it must have been as someone in hiding.  To never see daylight, shower, use the toilet except at night, eat only what you are given or not at all, never mind all the things we take for granted – texting friends, watching tv, listening to the radio, having a cup of tea whenever we fancy, going shopping, or to the cinema or out for a drink or even just a walk.

And that led me to think again, to think of the families we help and think that so many of the things we take for granted are whipped away from them too – sometimes for years.

Last week I was having a wee moan (or perhaps those I was ‘moaning’ to would say it was a big moan) about how much admin work I had to do and how hard it was to catch up after our holiday in March.   Well this wee break has sorted that out for me.  So what if I am a bit behind in admin – our wonderful supporters will understand if I explain.  Janette, Susan and Marlyn are quite exceptional help to me and all stepped up to the plate and offered to do more.   How lucky I am that there is any admin work to do – how lucky I am that we are as successful as we are for such a small charity.  Yes, I do know it but sometimes you need a wee reminder and I got it.

So today with a heart filled with gratitude I head to Holyrood Park to work with Lesley Ross from Hard Rock Cafe Edinburgh at the Rock n Roll Half Marathon village.  The run itself is tomorrow and I wish all competitors a great run – whatever you want to achieve by doing it, I hope you feel good personally at the end of it.  It is still one of my dreams to run a 10k again one day – the feeling at the end of a run is amazing.

Take time if you can to look at the beauty that is around us – the tulips and daffodils with their promise of spring – little birds making nests (listening to them too in the morning is so lovely too), our beautiful city (forget the roadworks – they will be gone before you know it.  our city is staggeringly beautiful)

Enjoy your day.  I intend to enjoy mine.