lothian buses

Au Revoir to our Lothian Bus

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Oh my, we will miss it!  It has been one of the most interesting ways a business has shown us support and we have loved it.

This month is our last month with Lothian Buses.  Today the it’s good 2 give bus is on the 27 route – goes almost past my house!

We are very very grateful to Lothian Buses for all their support over past two years – financial and otherwise – but the bus is the creme de la creme.  If I ever win the lottery I will definitely brand a bus again.

The interest and affection for our bus in our community has been superb and lots of fun.   We even have our own bus spotters club on social media.

Many thanks again, LB and Transport for Edinburgh.

And to remind you what the bus looked like here are a few photos taken by supporters. (and me)

Our thanks to Lothian Buses

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I’m a little bit sad.

The end of a relationship can make you that way.

However, we are going to remain friends!


Joking aside, our partnership for the past year with Lothian Buses has been superb for It’s Good 2 Give and we hope for them too!



  • behind the scenes visits to the depot at Annandale street and inside the control room
  • going through the Bus Wash – such a hit with the kids
  • the Horrible Histories tour meeting  author Terry  Deary
  • the Christmas Grotto bus and tour
  • 60+ employees  joining our Pedal 4 Paul cycling team


  • all the mobile phones handed in during the year and being recycled for cash just for us
  • Helen Adams running the Loch Ness Marathon for us
  • donating beanie hats for our Kilimanjaro team
  • and over £9000 raised

Yes, it has been a very good year.

Every member of staff I met during the year was supportive and got right behind supporting us – Chief Executive Ian Craig joined the cycling team which  Andy Finlay organised

Clare Bridson made sure we always had fundraising opportunities and introduced me to the Tuesday curry in the canteen!

Special mention to Anne the xmas elf – what a star – lovely lovely lady.

Am I saving the best for last?

You bet I am.


What an amazing gift – to have a bus with our logo and information all over it was just incredible.

It was (still is for a wee while longer) bus number 830 and it is fair to say I love it.  It makes me get goosebumps when I see it and gave me one of the most fun days of my life when earlier this year I unknowingly got on it!  Within moments I realized that it was our bus and wouldn’t get off till it reached its terminus, tweeting my progress along the way.

So, yes I was sad when I realised that the year  as their charity partner was coming to an end but incredibly generously Lothian Buses have given us the wonderful gift of a new bus for the coming year. We’re going to put some new photos onto it – including a picture of the Ripple Retreat we aim to build later this year.

I give huge thanks to Ian and his team at  Lothian Buses for their kindness and support during our year  and extra thanks for the new bus.

My bus spotting days continue!


Guest Blog Post By Jack Grierson

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This week was work experience week for my school Currie community high, I chose to work with my grandparents at its good 2 give because I’ve known about it for so long but have never went into any depth about it and therefore didn’t know very much about what they actually do here. After this week at the charity I realise how important this whole set up is and how it helps so many young people struggling with cancer.


I have learned lots of new skills during my week and hope to put them to good use in the times to come. Just some of the things I did this week were going to radio forth to see Grant Stott a patron of its good 2 give, then headed over to Zest skin spas to see Louise the lovely manager of Zest and trustee of the charity and to Lothian buses for a tour which was extremely intriguing as I didn’t know how much went on behind the scenes there with both management and maintenance of the astounding 650 buses. I also heard the minister for Transport, Keith Brown, speak on road safety and safer cycling the other charity run by my grandparents Andrew Cyclist Charitable Trust In tribute to my uncle who passed away and had a deep passion for cycling.


If I were in school and asked to come to a conclusion about this week I suppose I would write, this week has been informative and educative but also very enlightening to know that my grandparents are doing so much to help these people in every way they possibly can, I think its absolutely amazing what they do.

Lothian Bus Geeks

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Yesterday I read about two guys who planned to ride every bus route on Lothian Buses service in one day.  from Bus number 113 to bus number 1.

I tweeted them and wished them luck and hoped they might be able to get on ‘our’ bus.  We had a wee bit chat back and forth and I asked my followers to consider following them.  Then my friends at Edinburgh Spotlight took up the mantle and gave them a mention.  And before you knew it, they had hundreds of followers.

I came onto the computer this morning with the intention of working hard on admin matters.  Truly, I did. I clicked on twitter to see how they were doing and again wished them well.  They had got off to a good start.

Oh, by the way their names are Chris and Neil.lothian bus geek

Off they went.  From bus to bus. And that is the way it has been all day.

But two buses in and their friend Peter (I like him a lot already) said why not have a fundraising page?  They said well if you want to do it go ahead.  And do it for the Lothian Buses Charity of the Year.   I was on twitter at the time (laughing at this as I have pretty much been on twitter all day) and gave Peter the link to virginmoneygiving and before you knew it they had a page.  It’s here if you want to donate!  http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=LothianBusGeeks&isTeam=true

And before you could say, ‘Tickets please” they had donations.

Rolling in.

and in.

Their twitter follower numbers increased rapidly – they had journalists hopping on buses with them for interviews, doing phone interviews with radio stations and STV were trying their best to catch up with them!

It hasn’t all gone according to plan.  They missed the last 20 and 15 buses but they just changed the rules (rules they had made themselves), dusted themselves down and got on with doing what they can.  Their aim remains to get on all other buses by midnight.

As I type this at 7pm they are on the 21 bus.

How much have they raised?  Well, right now the total stands at £906 and with gift aid that is £1119.  I reckon they will do £1000 PLUS gift aid.

So, unwittingly, they have become my first team to raise £1000 this year for us.  I wanted 100 pledges of £1000 and have five individuals/teams signed up but now I have our first completed team!

Many many thanks to Neil and Chris and to Peter for offering to set up the fundraising page.

Thanks to Lothian Buses of course – and for choosing us as Charity of the Year because that is why Neil and Chris chose us today!

And huge thanks to Twitter and all the people today who donated, tweeted, supported – social media at its absolute finest.

Their twitter name –  @lothianbusgeek

ours – @itsgood2give

Lothian Buses- @on_lothianbuses

Articles so far on them

Edinburgh Spotlight

Edinburgh Reporter

And STV edinburgh

Evening News



Doing a Tidy out?

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If you come across any of these items in your tidy out – we can use them!

  • CD’s  and DVD’s in their original cases
  • Jewellery – gold, silver, costume – we welcome it all
  • Printer  ink and toner cartridges (except Epson)

get in touch and we will work out a way to get them from you.


During January Lothian Buses are also doing a collection for us.

Take any old clothes and shoes to a lothian Buses Travelshop

And if you got a new mobile phone for Christmas and want to donate your old phone Lothian Buses have an ongoing collection for us at all Travelshops – just hand in your phone and let them know it’s for the It’s Good 2 Give fundraising.

You can find Travelshops at

  • Hanover Street Travelshop

    Opening hours
    Monday-Friday: 0800-1800
    Saturday: 0900-1730
    Sunday: 1000-1715
    Closed on local and Bank Holidays

    27 Hanover Street
    EH2 2DL

    Hanover Street Travelshop

  • Shandwick Place Travelshop

    Opening hours
    Monday-Friday: 0800-1800
    Saturday: 0900-1730
    Sunday: CLOSED
    Closed on local and Bank Holidays

    7 Shandwick Place
    EH2 4RG

    Shandwick Place Travelshop

  • Dalkeith Travelshop

    Opening hours
    Monday-Friday: 0930-1645
    (Closed: 1130-1200)
    Saturday: 0930-1645
    (Closed: 1130-1200)
    Sunday CLOSED
    Closed on local and Bank Holidays

    Jarnac Court
    EH22 1HU

    Dalkeith Travelshop


Christmas Message to all

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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

On the Buses

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What a fascinating day!

Invited to take a stand because we are Lothian Buses Charity of the Year I had no idea what to expect.

Loads of buses to look at – including a bus like the one I used to get to go to school – and I saw a ticket machine like the one the bus conductor would have on that bus.  Still with £, s and d (for you young uns reading that it is pounds, shillings and pennies as opposed to pounds and pence today).

I got my parents a wee pressie – a bus stop sign!  Just as well I bought it first thing as they sold out in minutes and folk asked us constantly all afternoon if we had any.  We had ours hidden away in case we got lynched!  Alison from Edinburgh Spotlight came along to help and thank goodness she did.  We were so busy.  Friend and supporter Fiona Kenny made us 250 bags tablet.  It was delicious (well, I can’t sell stuff I don’t know what it tastes like?  I HAD no choice but to do a taste test.  ) and sold like crazy.  we made at least £200 from sales of Fiona’s tablet.   LB staff gave us old posters to sell and they went fast too. I have brought a fair few home including one of our very own Grant Stott!

Ian and I had packed up lots of packs of our special Cathy Cassidy designed Christmas cards but it was too early to be selling them – we sold a few packs and folk loved them especially one lady who, it turned out, worked for Cathy till last year! Small world.

I didn’t have much time to wander around but I would go back – so much to see and do.  The Bus wash trip was popular as it is with our young cancer patients when we take them.  long queues for going on that.  facepainting that was exceptional, bus racing (little buses), goodness knows what else and the chance to get on buses, toot the horns (not so popular with me that one), sit in the drivers seat.  Fantastic.

The Lothian Buses staff make us so welcome – we feel very much part of the team now and they go the extra mile for us.  It was good to see a fair few of our cyclists from Team Pedal 4 Paul – fully recovered.

It’s all over now for this year but if you get the chance next year during Doors Open Day take it and go visit Lothian Buses central depot – you won’t be disappointed.  I’ll be back.

At our table alone we raised £500 and there will be more to come!

Kilimanjaro thank you’s

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We’ve had tremendous support from individuals and businesses.

Here are a few of our Thank You’s!

Stoat’s cereal bars – for healthy sustenance as we climb and for some of us who can’t eat porridge – our breakfast!

Jaffa Fruit – gave us ponchos for each of us.  Hope we don’t need them but they don’t take up much space.

Sunsense Factor 50 suncream – we will definitely be glad of that.

Lothian Buses – for our microfleece hats – practical and good looking and will give us a super team photo.

Templespa – Diane Harris donated lipbalm for each of us – another essential!

Centotre  – for the little packs of sweets to give us a wee treat at the end of each day’s trek and for my own logo’d up t-shirt!

Caledonian Clothing and Logo Embroidery Scotland – in particular thanks to Kirsty at CC and Sam at LES for their advice, support, patience and great prices!

JCB – for my tough phone – as well as being fantastic for this trip Ian will be able to use it later when we have our Retreat built.  I really appreciate it and it looks fab.


Pedal 4 Paul 2013

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Once again, we had a superb day – the sun shone for the most part and it stayed dry all day so that was really good.

128 cyclists in our team and I was at Annandale Street to see the 80+ leave from there.  I dropped Ian off at Murrayfield en route and he checked in the 30 or so leaving from there.

Spirits were high and it was my pleasure to be able to say thanks to them as they headed off.   I scooted back to Murrayfield, took over from Ian (who was shivering as he had been out in the cold much longer than me) and waited on our last few departing cyclists.

Back home to load up the car, and out to Linlithgow to set up our own food and water stop – lesson learnt there – I misjudged the time!  As we were driving through Linlithgow high street towards our intended food stop point I realised that cycling past us were some of our team.  They had made amazing time and were going to miss out on the lovely sandwiches!  We continued on and set up. My phone rang – it was one of the cyclists we had seen cycling past “where are you?”.   Bless their hearts (and legs) they came back – we probably added on an extra 2miles to their day but they didn’t seem to mind.  Banter was good, they were enjoying the day and off they went.  Lots more appeared – some just wanting to keep going and many stopping for the lovely sandwiches we had been donated.

Our volunteers arrived around 11 and we were able to leave them to it in Linlithgow and get back to Murrayfield.  We had already missed one of our speediest cyclists and for that I was very sorry – he is a great supporter and to have done the whole ride in the time he did and arrive at Murrayfield without any one of us to cheer him was not good!  Charles Ambrose, we think you are terrific and will be there to cheer you in next year!

The rest of the day was a blur of chatting to cyclists, officials, and handing out medals.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with Andy Finlay at Lothian Buses as he organised his 64 strong team – it was good to get the chance to chat to some of them at the food stop and at the end. We are loving our Charity of the Year partnership.

What a truly super day.  I had a few highlights –

  • seeing Paul’s parents and sister and her fiance off on the ride – his mum hadn’t been able to do it last year as she broke her elbow.  And seeing them come in together later – still with the same smiles on their faces and so proud of their time.  (and let’s not forget the odd socks!)
  • seeing the young cyclists – we had a lot more this year and they were amazing.
  • seeing the odd socks most cyclists wore in honour of Paul.
  • seeing my co-trustee Susan being greeted by her sister Tricia – the photo is brilliant (if I say so myself!)
  • seeing the pleasure and pride in all the cyclists faces as they crossed the finish line.

Sign up soon to join the coolest bike team in town – registration is now open for 2014!

Special thanks to our sponsors

Edinburgh Bike Co-operative for supplying the drawstring bags and water bottles

Stoats bars for supplying the porridge oat bars

Flavour catering for supplying the fabulous sandwiches and water for the Linlithgow stop

Donella and Graham Lawson for organising the very special food stop at their  home in Kirkliston

Lothian Buses and Dingbro for supplying 100 printed t shirts for the team and Lothian Buses for recruiting 64 cyclists and transporting them and 30 of our team to the start.  Terrific support and much appreciated.


More thanks to the teams of volunteers who helped us out yesterday and to all the cyclists who participated and to all the people who donated to their sponsorship.   We appreciate it very much.



My To Do List

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I had a mad thought I could keep today simple and only have three main tasks.


Started to do the list and it is quite long.

  1. Find a sponsor for goody bags (drawstring bags with one small bike related gift and jelly babies) for our Pedal 4 Paul cyclists
  2. Sign up more cyclists for our Pedal 4 Paul team
  3. Email all our Charity of the Year business partners and other contacts about our amazing Lothian Bus Pull Challenge
  4. Write Thank You letters and cards
  5. Fit in a bike training ride – wearing odd socks to remember Paul who lost his fight with cancer three years ago today
  6. Pay invoices
  7. Get another Christmas card designed just for us
  8. Email our MP re cycling item
  9. Banking
  10. Write article
  11. Get an info postcard for IG2G
  12. Work on newsletter
  13. Work on other events
  14. Write Blog post about Buy a Service
  15. Write blog post about Pledges

Right, that is too long for one day.  Think I will make the list longer and add on a few smaller to do items and make it so that I have till Monday morning to get it all done.

Can I do it?  Hope so.  If you can help with items 1, 2 , 3 and 7 please do get in touch!