kilimanjaro trek

JCB mobile phone offer

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I really like my new phone.  Generously donated by JCB to take on our Kilimanjaro trek it will also be extremely useful when we start to build the Retreat.

I’ll give it a review once I get back to let you know how it fared in the challenging conditions up the mountain!  I like it so far though.

The lovely folks at JCB are also giving you an offer –

The code is climb10 and will apply a 10% discount on our check out for anything bought on the  JCB toughphone site site.

This code is valid until 31 December 2013 – perfect timing for a special christmas present!

my fab phone donated by JCB

my fab phone donated by JCB

me taking my new phone out for its first outing

New Kilimanjaro team fundraising total

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I am so excited I had to tell you now!

The total raised by our team of trekkers is now at


We are so going to smash our £100,000 target – thank you everyone who has donated and if you have yet to donate we’d love it if you helped us get to that target! Here’s the link to the team page.

What a fantastic result.



Kilimanjaro trek

Posted by | Kilimanjaro | No Comments

Hard to believe in just over two weeks time a group of 31 folk (from Fife, Lothians, Borders and one from just over the border in Berwick on Tweed) will be getting on a plane to head to Tanzania.

I knew some of them from the outset , some came on board after hearing about the trek from friends or supporters, and a few just wanted to climb Kilimanjaro and had never heard of our charity.  (Well, they have now!)

We have organised many social and informative events for the trekkers to give them the chance to get to know each other and it is lovely to see new friendships being formed.

Last night was our last social event pre the trek.  The event was sponsored so there was no cost to the charity (in fact, all the social events have been sponsored) and was held at the Virgin Money Lounge in St Andrew Square – it is a beautiful space and we were wonderfully looked after by Hayley and Rachel from Virgin.

More than half the trekkers were able to attend which was tremendous – Dan, one of the Directors of Really Wild Challenges was there to answer last minute questions.

Anyway, it was a really lovely evening and the next time we meet as a group it is at Edinburgh Airport!

The bit of news I wanted to tell you – am bursting to tell you – was that I came home and sat with Ian and worked out how much the group had raised.  It means checking every bank pay in and virgin online giving page and took a wee while but oh my was it worth the effort.

I so wish I knew  how to do a drum roll on a blog because this is drum roll worthy.

The total raised so far is …….

£91, 500

I am now confident we can smash my Kilimanjaro fundraising goal of £100,000

Will you help?  Or might your business/school/office?

Donations welcome – here is a link to my own fundraising page – an interesting read if nothing else!

Well done, Team It’s Good 2 Give does Kilimanjaro – well done.


Zumbathon in Berwick on Tweed

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Kilimanjaro trekker, Valda Darling, lives in Berwick on Tweed and as part of her fundraising she organised a Zumbathon class and invited me along.

I am pretty sure she meant me to take part but I have no co-ordination at all and not enough physical energy to do Zumba for 2 hours!!   Co-trustees Marlyn, Susan and I went along to support and watch though  Susan got so impressed she decided to join in!   We loved it so much that we plan to do one of our own at some point this year.

What energy and enthusiasm we saw this afternoon – the four Zumba teachers who led the class were superb.  Well done to all who organised and took part.


Fundraising Duns style

Posted by | Events, Kilimanjaro | One Comment

Elaine Whellans, long time supporter of It’s Good 2 Give and good friend of ours is also one of our Kilimanjaro trekkers.

She started her fundraising with a bang – a big dance on Saturday 3 November – (a very busy weekend for her as she and son Aaron were modelling for us the very next day on the catwalk and husband Yid was taking photos of our models!).

Held at the Volunteers Hall in Duns she did us and herself proud.   Co-trustee Susan Stewart and I went down earlier in the afternoon to help set up but it was all done by time we got there.   That is the power of her team.   Yep, Elaine has her own fundraising committee and they are quite something.  Susan and I were therefore spoilt – Elaine even made our dinner for us!

We had brought Ellie the elephant down – as our trek mascot,Ellie will be getting about a bit in the next few months as she accompanies trekkers to their fundraising events.

Susan and I had fun at the start – taking the tickets and putting event wristbands on the guests – very professional, Elaine by the way!

I spoke briefly at the start of the event saying how immensely proud I am of all our trekkers and their fundraising and training targets (talking of which I am off out after this for a late night walk ’round the block’ – early days in training for me but at least it’s something).

Susan and I had to scoot off shortly after that as we needed early nights so we could be up bright and breezy for the fashion show next day.

You can see me here blethering away with Elaine patiently waiting her turn and Ellie taking pride of place.  The pink elephant to the right is the Duns elephant now – she awaits a name and purpose but will become part of the fundraising for Elaine’s trek.

So how did she do, I hear you ask?

Staggeringly well.   Elaine and her superb fundraising team raised a brilliant £3336.48

Go Team Elaine!

Countdown to Fashion show

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Well here we are with less than 2 and a half weeks to go!
Already a complete sellout – 530 guests.  Couldn’t be happier for the models.  All 55 of them!
It’s been a tough month preparing and this is the final phase but we are all enjoying ourselves too!
The designers and retailers are ready to loan their clothes, the accessories are chosen, the music is just waiting eager to be played and have our models walk the catwalk moving to its beat.
Ten superb raffle prizes waiting to be won. Spare tights, Kirby grips (showing my age here), tissues and so much more in our spares and emergency box.
Oh and  a walkie talkie – almost just for fun.  After all, it is the 21st century and we all have mobile phones!
We still have to arrange as many fittings as we can in the next 2 and a half weeks and hold the rehearsal but so far so good.
The wonderful Academy of Make-up Scotland are sending 15 students to give our models catwalk ready make up!
More good news is that one of our models has already signed up for the Kilimanjaro trek and if that wasn’t enough, she has encourage two friends to consider too!
Watch this space for updates on both events!


Posted by | Events, Kilimanjaro | One Comment

It’s taken a wee while but finally we are getting on track with our Kilimanjaro project – possible date is 9 september 2013 – leaving from Edinburgh.  Already 2 of us are signed up  – Janette McPherson and me.   A guy in Huddersfield has emailed to say he’d like to know more!  Great.  Eight others have expressed an interest – I tweeted about it yesterday and one of the people who follows me (and I her) sent a message to say she was seriously interested too.

It is going to be a really tough challenge but that is why we have 2 years to get ready.  My daft way of training – to ‘walk’ the 5000 miles to kilimanjaro has been delayed by a month because of injury and illness –  minor but annoying.  However I am excited to be getting going on that again on 1 Sept.

I am taking advantage of the down time to figure out how I am going to finance the trek.   Each of us will have to pay our own way – £2500 and raise  a min of £1000 for the charity.  No exceptions.  Indeed I believe as co-founder of this charity and trek leader I need to lead by example and so have started by clearing out the attic, garage, kitchen cupboards, wardrobe (ok, I got a bit carried away and addicted to the clear out process) and have started selling on ebay, gumtree, facebook, twitter and at events.  I am putting off doing a car boot sale – they just aren’t the fun they used to be.

Already I have found I do not like ebay.  Finding that you have sold something for a quid and have to post it off in 48 hours isn’t my idea of fun.

Gumtree is proving good so far.

I have made over £250 already. There is still lots to sell too so I am sure that I can indeed get to that £2500 saving by the end of 2012.  The bonus is that the house is much tidier already – not just because I am selling anything that hasn’t been used in a year but also by searching for those items I have dusted, polished and hoovered wherever I have gone (ok, not in the attic but I did take a brush up there and sweep it!)     I also have two birthdays and two christmases between now and then too and have asked for money  instead of a gift.

Janette’s plan for saving involves much baking.   She is a world class baker – indeed should be on the Great British Bake off.   She plans to bake and sell at her work.  Everyone loves Janette’s baking.

If you have other ideas for us do get in touch!

We have big plans for our little elephants, Elmar, Ellie and Ailsa.

   Ellie is covered in photos of the babies, children and young people who have fought or are fighting cancer.   She is to remind us why we are doing this trek.  Elmar is going to be covered in logos – any individual or business who donates £100 or more to our Kili fundraising can have their logo or business card put on Elmar.  Ailsa is our well read elephant.  She is off to Wigtown Book Festival end of the month to be signed by as many authors as we can get!   (and we plan to ask a few of our local resident authors here in Edinburgh to sign her too).  Wigtown BF have been incredibly welcoming to Ailsa and are excited to have her for the duration of their festival and we are most grateful to them for that.   Once she has lots of signatures she will be sealed with varnish and along with sets of signed books will be auctioned at our Inaugural Ball in March next year.

If you are interested in any part of our Kilimanjaro trek or fundraising ideas please get in touch

An information meeting about the Trek will be held on Saturday 1 October 2011 from noon to 2pm at Bruntsfield, Edinburgh.   If you’d like to come along to hear more from the Really Wild Challenge company we plan to use, email me.