loch venachar

Eden MiniMint Murray

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Saturday past turned out to be a pretty amazing day.

We held our Ripple Ball – a fun successful night with our Patron Grant Stott as host and his friends Allan Stewart and Andy Gray joining in the fun.

Our fabulous Johnny Ca$h Coo getting us £14250!

The night felt almost like a lovely family party.

Earlier in the evening I had the privilege of also meeting a young lady (aged 8) called Eden.   Eden had told her mum and dad over a year ago that she wanted to grow her  hair long just so she could get it then cut short and donate it to make a real hair wig for a little girl who has lost her  hair during chemotherapy.  That wasn’t all though.  She wanted to raise money for us too.  And she has excelled at that.  More than £500 raised already.  Eden came along with mum and dad and I heard how she got her nickname (surname Murray as was mine pre marriage so I know about the Murray Mints joke – never hurry a Murray, they’re too good to hurry! Anyway, Eden is known as MiniMint).  She was so chuffed with her new hairdo – and pleased to meet me.  I was truly honoured to meet her.  Tristan – the General Manager of the Sheraton happened to appear at the moment I was showing her the function room all decorated, He too was impressed at her fundraising and took her on a tour behind the scenes. She reappeared with a passion fruit sorbet!

Well done MiniMint, I am very proud of you and what you  have done to help other children who are going through a very tough time.

We are proud to call you our Supporter of the Month for November.

Ripple Ball 2018

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After the success of Ripple Ball 2017 we have confirmed a date for our 2018 Ball

Join us if you can.

Venue will be the Sheraton Grand Hotel, Edinburgh

Date is Saturday 24 November 2018

7pm till 1am

Good food, lots dancing, 4 unusual items auction, raffle (and to save time for more dancing, tix can be bought in advance) and a great host or two.

Along with having a fun night out you can have the knowledge that you are supporting a small Scottish charity that supports young cancer patients and their families.

Win Win!

Cost is £900 per table of ten.

If you reserve your table and pay your £100 deposit before 31 December 2017 there is a £100 discount!

To reserve your table please email Shonagh@itsgood2give.co.uk

 

Ripple Retreat Pier

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We enjoyed a lovely day at the Retreat yesterday as we officially opened the Pier.

Last year Cathal Morgan (architect in Tony Kettle’s practice and our day to day architect for the Retreat) designed a pier that complemented the Retreat perfectly.  We got planning consent and then we were introduced to the lovely folks at the Wooden Spoon Charity and after consideration they agreed to fund the Pier.  What we didn’t know at the time was that our estimate was way off base!

However, we met up with the folks from George Leslie, a contractor more used to building huge piers.  They said that they would love to build our pier and it was to be the smallest they had built and that the funding we had in place from the Wooden Spoon charity would be fine. (I think they have called it a cost-minus project though also acknowledge how rewarding it was to support us).

It was a massive construction job – we had a huge crane (if you know the site, you can imagine how tricky it was to get the crane to the site) and some days the weather was kinder than others but the guys kept going.

The curved end of the pier – the shelter – was funded by a private donation and that is made of glulam beams- made in Austria because no one in the UK was able to bend the beams to the curve required.

It really is a beautiful pier and allows families the chance to sit and look down the loch enjoying the stunning views.  If they are experienced sailors and want to hire a sail boat or canoe the nearby Loch Venachar sailing club is happy to help.  And if they have no experience, the sail club is happy to offer tuition or just take the family out on the water.

Yesterday, President of the Wooden Spoon in Scotland, the rugby legend that is Gavin Hastings, officially opened the pier.  Several trustees from the Wooden Spoon came along too as did CEO of George Leslie, John McNaught and  Ross Ritchie, also from George Leslie and Tony Kettle, architect of Ripple Retreat.

We were extra lucky in that as her next race is in Newcastle,  one of our Patrons, Lynsey Sharp, was able to attend.  She had visited the Retreat when it was a muddy building site and so was blown away by its beauty now that it is finished.

The pier represents a fabulous collaboration between two charities ( us and the wonderful Wooden Spoon charity), two businesses  (George Leslie, the pier contractors and indeed several other businesses who supported them.  Glulam Solutions for the curved shelter), our incredibly talented architect team at Kettle Collective and a private donor for funding the curved shelter – we are grateful to them all for providing this stunning addition to our Ripple Retreat.  It will enhance the experience of every family who stays at Ripple Retreat.

Thanks to one of our Lead Ambassadors, Elaine Whellans for some cracking photos from the day.

Ripple Retreat Yoga Mats

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Your chance to buy a lovely yoga mat and at the same time make a £7 donation to us – a donation we will put towards our Relaxation day at the Ripple Retreat later this year.

Our first Relaxation day is for mums and will have yoga, reiki, massages and a fabulous healthy lunch on offer to the mums (at no cost to them).  These mums need a bit of pampering as they have a child or teen in treatment for cancer.

So if you would love a new yoga mat – one with our gorgeous rippling heart logo on it please do get in touch

collection only from either an Edinburgh, Dunbar or Dunfermline address

Outstanding Silver Beaker

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We are truly honoured to be given this beautiful Ash Beaker by Hamilton & Inches.

Only two have been made.  Just two.

One for us to auction at our Ball in November.

And wait till I tell you who has the other one.

None other than the National Museum of Scotland in their silver Treasury.  That is pretty cool.  Several heritage items created by Hamilton & Inches have also featured in the National Museums, including the crown for the Lord Lyon of Scotland.

I was at the museum last month to see their beaker being put into its display.   Do have a look if you are visiting the museum – we get a wee mention too which is lovely.

The beaker was designed by noted Scottish silversmith Grant McCaig  and hand crafted in the silver workshops at Hamilton & Inches at George Street, Edinburgh. The design of the Ash Beaker was inspired by the protective qualities of the ash tree in Gaelic folklore, appropriately so as our Retreat is in the Loch  Lomond and Trossachs National Park.

While it is up for auction at our Ball in November you can make a bid on it by emailing me and we would consider it on the day.

Heartfelt thanks to Stephen Paterson and his team at Hamilton & Inches for such tremendous support over the years and with this donation in particular.

It’s Good 2 Give Ripple Retreat gets its own logo

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A few weeks ago I had an exciting meeting with Andrew Wolffe and Rebecca Moyes of Wolffe design.  They felt that our Ripple Retreat needed its own identity. Ian and I know the importance of branding if not quite sure how it all works!

We were shown a few ideas and knew right away which was the right one for us.   It was also their (Andrew and Rebecca) favourite too.

Next stage was for them to refine their idea further.  It was only three weeks till official opening day – could we get the logo ready enough to use at all?

Hey, it’s us – course we could!  The team at Wolffe worked their socks off.   We had been gifted over 100 pieces of white hotel quality bedlinen by Sarah and Malcolm Duffin – because it is such great quality and pure white it was ideal to have our logo embroidered onto it.

We got in touch with Sam Lauder of Logo Embroidery Scotland- one of two fabulous businesses we work with.  Sam said yes he could do this even in the crazy timescale – Ian and I took the bedding to him and a lovely supporter collected it once done, delivered it to Shonagh and she brought it to Retreat day before we opened.

It is a beautiful logo – very us.

A rippling heart.  The central heart represents the child or young person with cancer, the middle heart represents their family and the outer heart represents it’s good 2 give.

We are planning a sign at the top of our drive at Ripple Retreat and the logo will feature there along with the words

Ripple Retreat

Relax and Reflect

That’s what we all hope the families can do when staying at the Retreat – relax and reflect.  And make memories.

We are super grateful to Wolffe design for their incredible support and looking forward to learning more from them about branding!

Watch our progress here……..

New Patron of It’s Good 2 Give

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Gosh, how lucky were we to have Queen of Daytime TV and lovely lady, Lorraine Kelly OBE, open our Ripple Retreat along with top bloke and first ever Patron of It’s Good 2 Give, Grant Stott.

After seeing round the Retreat, Lorraine did the honours and cut the ribbon with me and several of our Young Ambassadors – all of whom have a reason to support It’s Good 2 Give.

What I didn’t know at the time was that Lorraine’s husband, Steve, had put a drone up and filmed the Retreat from above – she very kindly sent me the footage the next night – you can see it on our Youtube channel here.

I asked Lorraine if she would become a Patron of our charity and was delighted when she said yes.

So, from all of us at It’s Good 2 Give and all our supporters too it is a very warm welcome to our newest Patron, Lorraine.

Here’s to a long and happy partnership!

Lorraine Kelly OBE with Grant Stott both Patrons of It’s Good 2 Give

12days to go till we open Ripple Retreat

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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!!

 

It’s Good 2 Give Ripple Retreat site visit 14 February 2017

Posted by | A Day in the Life of this Fundraiser, The Retreat, Uncategorized | One Comment

Me and my Valentine spent the day doing a site visit and visiting two local supporters.

What a great day it was.

We started off by having an early lunch (1115am!) at Blair Drummond Smiddy – then we went just along the road to Doune to meet for the first time a great supporter – Cheryl Sievewright who owns Woodlane of Doune – a fashion boutique. Cheryl held a fashion show raising £1000 for us which was tremendous.  It was so good to finally meet her and she loves the Ripple Retreat and will continue to support us.  I can see myself popping in to Woodlane from time to time. (I saw several items I would have liked to look at more ).

From there we drove along to Callander and stopped to say hello to another local supporter, Ishbel owns the Crown Hotel. It was super busy as we arrived at 1pm so we just said hello and had a very brief chat then agreed to pop back at a quieter time!  We had a bit of time before we needed to be at the Retreat so we took a wander up and down Callander High Street, finding a lovely wee lane to wander down – it took us to a bridge over the river and an ancient graveyard which mentions Burke and Hare.

It was such a lovely February wintery sunny day  and the light was lovely as we approached our Ripple Retreat.  Parking was difficult as the site was so busy with contractors!  (Which was wonderful) – so we parked at our neighbour’s house (with permission I might add).  We had a VIP supporter visiting with her 3 sons so I had bought 3 child size safety hats and hi viz vests for them.  Kirsten runs KDMedia who have supported us through the Scottish Property Awards, Scottish Legal Awards and Scottish Home Awards raising over £60,000 for us in past three years. In addition to the funds, we have met several other supporters through those awards dinners.  I was a wee bit nervous as wanted her to love our Ripple Retreat as much as I do!   It was unnecessary worry – she loved it as did the boys.  On site today was a digger doing work on the road to the new Pier and the boys loved watching it.

Before heading home we met up with our neigbour, another VIP supporter and friend, David and had a cuppa and chat discussing the garden and other landscaping plans.

To top off a cracking day – daylight stayed with us till almost 6pm – a wonderful sign of approaching spring.

Must do better………

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Oops. Missed a few days again. It is harder than I thought doing a blog post a day.  Will try to do better!

Past few days have been same old same old but on speed.   We have been working on a project plan for the opening and the open days following the opening.  There are A LOT of people we would like to invite to come see the Retreat before it goes ‘into service’.

As part of our own food shopping, I am popping in packs of biscuits that are on offer wherever I am – so far, this month has yielded offers on kitkats and oreos.  the biscuits must be individually wrapped so I am keen to take up offers when they appear. The amazing folks at Tunnocks are donating 700 biscuits and along with my 150 so far I am getting there.  I need about another 300 I reckon. So far, no cost to the charity.

I would love love love to tell you my desk is tidier but sadly, I can’t.  Mini fail there. I have a few personal appointments this week and so have kept my diary light (one of them is my annual mammogram – 2 years since I started chemo, and it makes me a bit nervous beforehand).  I may try to do a bit of work on the old desk! Don’t hold your breath though.

Trustee and friend Susie Bradley has been busy on our behalf too – she has been speaking at Inverkeithing Scouts telling them about us and our Ripple Retreat.  The Scouts are fundraising for us which is terrific and Susie has also been invited to be interviewed about her role and that of her Wee Broon Dug’s role as an Ambassador for it’s good 2 give.