pedal 4 paul

New Ambassadors

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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

It’s Good 2 cycle……..for Paul

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It’s been quite a month for cycling and fundraising.

First up was Pedal for Scotland Glasgow to Edinburgh ride – 47 miles – we had 16 cyclists taking part in this ride and 4 taking part in the shorter ride – Tabby and Danielle aged 11 and their mums Donella and Michelle.  They were in first and Ian and I were lucky enough to be at the finish line to see them come in!

We had a great team of volunteers ready to do shifts at the finish line and at the tent – We were very fortunate this year to be invited to share the Cycle Law tent in the tented area.  This gave us shelter on a blustery day and was most welcome!

Many of our cyclists chose to leave Glasgow very early (which meant leaving Edinburgh at 5am for most of them!) and were met at Linlithgow by our Shonagh – she had sandwiches and other refreshments that had been provided by our wonderful Corporate partner, Flavour.  This meant they didn’t have to queue at the official food stop and they could just keep going and they all wanted to do that.  Every one of the cyclists praised her cheery banter and encouragement and all loved the sandwiches!

They were all home by 4pm – improving on previous years by 2 hours!

In addition to all that, the team honoured Paul by wearing odd socks – one of his quirky habits!   They also raised a fabulous £9500 (still rising too!)

Enjoy some of the photos from the day.  We had two teams within our team – the Pink Ladies and Jim’s team.

Then, just over a week ago, one of our staunchest supporters, Graham Lawson, set off on a pretty tough challenge.   To cycle coast to coast over the Pyrenees.  He and his cycling companions cycled roughly 700km and climbed something like 11500m between Biarritz and Argelès-sur-Mer, raising over £1000

One of the cyclists a friend of Paul’s wrote this describing the day (clearly quite a tough day!)

“My Pedal 4 Paul Experience

First word that comes to my head is TORTURE!!! Joking asides it was a great event all in.
I went to Lynne 3 days before the event and after number of messages back and forth I was absolutely petrified to do this cycle with such little practice.
Myself & Lara signed up for the cycle in April, giving us plenty time to get out to train for it, but of course we left it until 2 weeks before to eventually venture up to 26 miles. Prior to this last time I had went on my bike was when I was about 15 years old.

The event itself was so well organised even to the extend they truck men who were helping gave us bubble wrap to protect our bikes.
We eventually arrived in Glasgow, only 2 hours too early so we managed to ask event staff to start of early which was no bother at all.
Starting off was the emotional part hearing the bagpipes just reminded me of the reasons we were doing such a grueling cycle staring into the sky knowing that Kim & Paul would get us through the day.

I must say getting out of Glasgow green I found the most challenging part. Signposts were fantastic and never got lost at all and plenty opportunities to stop for water etc. Getting off the main roads were better for me personally I preferred the country roads to the busy parts, BUT the killer hills were the TORTURE part!!!
Before we knew it we were half way and there was water being handed out left right and centre. After there we hit Falkirk and i have to say this was my favourite part everyone in the village were outside and handing us lots of water which definitely gave me the boost to get going again, and the same when we got to linlithgow too everyone cheering us on.

Suddenly a plane came over my head at some point after linlithgow which meant only one thing WE MADE IT!!!! Hearing the bagpipes and cheers from the finish line i could feel myself welling up again and yes myself and lara got ourselves together took hands and were both as proud as punch getting through that finish line. Amazing achievement which i never thought i could do but seeing Lynne & Our family at the finish line made it all the better, I could possibly do it again I must say!

Caroline Cowan”

Well done to all our team and volunteers who were just tremendous.



Caroline’s Fundraising Fun

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There’s nothing better than a get together with friends – apart from, that is, a get together that doubles as a fundraiser!

Caroline Cowan held a ladies night at Colinton Bowling Club and raised a huge £900 for It’s Good 2 Give. The festivities included dancing, fun photos (see below) and a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses. From what we’ve heard, a good time was had by all – and all for a good cause!

Caroline was a good friend of Paul Davies and is taking part in Pedal 4 Paul on the 11th September. She has told us how much she is looking forward to the event and wants as many people as possible to get involved! We are still building our Pedal 4 Paul team and it’s not too late to take part. If you, or any budding cyclists you know, are interested then you can find more information here:

Thank you to Caroline, and to everyone who attended, for their wonderful donation and also for showing how fundraising can (and should) be fun!



Christmas Bag packing

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We have a fabulous bagpacking team in Steven and Ruth Davies – they secured one of the best dates of the year for bagpacking – Sunday 22 December!

Marks and Spencer at the Gyle was mobbed with shoppers getting ready for christmas and our team did incredibly well.

Assisted by Shonagh Byrne, Ruth pulled together a 20+team of packers – looking super professional in our new tabards they wowed the shoppers obviously.

I say obviously because they raised over £1800 in just under 6hours.   Absolutely fantastic.

Well done to the team and thanks also to our friend John Macauley for coming along to help with some of the pupils from Forrester High School.


Looking forward to 2014

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I’m so pleased with all we achieved in 2013 – raising over £300,000 in one year is phenomenal. Thank you for your part in that achievement.

But here’s the thing – we need to do it again in 2014!

Lothian Buses outing - taking a group on the Horrible Histories Bus and meeting author Terry Deary

Why?  Because we have been gifted land and aim to build our Retreat on it during 2014.  A Retreat that young cancer patients and their families will be able to use, to spend time together.  In addition to building the Retreat we will continue with our other practical support to families – providing snacks to the wards at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children and at The Western General Hospital for patients and parents (and that includes treats for Christmas and New Year’s day – we were very proud to provide lovely buffets for both those days), organising monthly workshops, providing parent packs for those parents staying in hospital with their child, and giving help with ironing.  We have also this year been able to help two families with some garden maintenance.

That’s why I need your help again.


Sometimes it is fun to have a theme for your year and because this year is the year that the Commonwealth Games return to Scotland we are making it the Year of Fitness for It’s Good 2 Give.

Our signature events will still be on the agenda but we will have lots of fitness events too.

A couple of months ago Balanced Physiotherapy took us on as Charity of the Year and last week the Scotsman Spa did too.  What great opportunities await us!

Let’s see what we have planned so far


  • Mid-February will see the start of an 8 week Pilates course with Iain Dunn (time and dates to be confirmed but mid-morning and weekday likely for this first course)
  • If there is enough demand for it we will also organise an 8 week yoga coursethe lovely Andy Finlay from Lothian Buses who organised their 64 cyclists
  • again if enough demand (we would want at least 6 participants) we will organise an 8 week nutrition workshop on healthy eating – for the 8 week block cost would be £180 per person – these would be held on a Friday afternoon in Stockbridge.
  • we’ll be starting a Walking group at the end of February too – limited number of participants and walks will vary – joining the group will cost £100 per person per year and for your membership you will also receive monthly offers
  • Mid-May we will host our first ever 5km run/walk – round Heriot-Watt grounds at Riccarton- this run will be for all ages
  • This year our late summer Pedal 4 Paul bike ride will take place on Sunday 24 August and  be just for us – it will start and end at Musselburgh Race Course and we’ll cycle round East Lothian. There will be three categories of ride (full information very soon)
  • and another first for us – we are going to host a 5 a side football tournament at Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton.  Very early days for plans but we will be publicising them in January.  (and it’s inside so not weather dependant!)


In addition we’ve got

Our signature events

Trustees Susan and Lynne at Spring Blingo

Trustees Susan and Lynne at Spring Blingo

  • Spring Blingo  15 May at the Roxburghe Hotel, Edinburgh- sold out but we do operate a waiting list so get in touch if you want to come.
  • If I get an Event Patron and a good bit of help I might organise a cycling themed mini-fashion show in June during the Edinburgh Festival of Cycling
  • Our very special Fashion Show returns after a year off  – 5 October at Erskine Stewart’s Melville School, Queensferry Road, Edinburgh
  • Our 3rd Ball at the Sheraton Grand, 15 November hosted by the one and only Grant Stott – tables of ten £650
  • Christmas Afternoon Tea at the Caledonian- a Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Sunday 14 December – already 50% sold – it really is a fabulous festive event and great value as all our events are – for £30 you get luxurious and festive afternoon tea with a glass of Prosecco.


Challenges for 2014

I reckon we can get 100 individuals/schools/businesses to pledge to raise £1000 each for us during the year – doesn’t have to be all in one go and could be more! Already Angela Hamilton Geraghty, Susan Stewart and Marlyn Minto have signed up to this challenge.  So I only need to find 97 more.

  • Join our Givers Club – we have a handful of regular givers and would love to have 50 by end of 2014 – from as little as £5 per month you can really make a difference.
  • IMG_8940Doesn’t always have to be on the grand scale – Take one Smartie tube (giving away the smarties or putting them in a big jar and turning them into a challenge of their own – guess the number of smarties in the jar) and fill the empty tube with 20p pieces – started two years ago by Ali and Carol of Curves gyms, Edinburgh with stunning success and taken up by the occasional supporter we are bringing it back big time for 2014




One of our collecting boxes filled with coppers

  •       Save pennies in one of our collecting boxes – my dad did just that and packed it with coppers – when we emptied it there was over £10 in it. Result!
  • Pound pics – a great one for adults and children alike.  We have postcards that you fill in your details on one side and on the blank side do us a drawing that includes a £1 coin. Masterton Primary School in Dunfermline took on the challenge and raised £98 – could be a fun fundraiser at schools, nurseries, brownies/cubs/guides/scout groups – every quarter we will choose the best in different categories (age – up to 5, 5-8, 9-12, 13-16 and adult) and give a book prize.
  • One of the requirements for taking part in Pedal 4 Paul is to wear odd socks – an endearing habit of Paul’s.  What to do with the other pair of odd socks?  Fill them with coins over the year and make that part of your fundraising for the bike ride!

Easy fundraising

If you are spring cleaning and come across – old jewellery and that includes costume jewellery or broken gold chains or earrings, reasonable condition clothes and shoes, printer cartridges, old mobile phones, CD’s, DVD’s please give them to us – we can get money for themIMG_2278

Shop online?  Consider doing so via Give as You Live and once signed up to raise funds for us you will never notice doing anything – I’ve raised £138 in two years.


Return of the Wishing Tree

Our first tree in 2011 was in St Andrew Square gardens – it was bitterly cold, not busy and we still did very well.  However I think a new strategy is needed and I would like to see us doing a Wishing Tree in 2014 – what is it, do I hear some of you ask?  It is a tree that we hang tags from – tags that have messages of hope, love, optimism on them and the people who write the messages make a donation to It’s Good 2 Give.  We need to find a new (warmer) spot this year – ideas gratefully received!

I think we have got something for everyone there – if anything interests you or you could help us with publicising events or organise one yourself for us do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

All that is left is for me to wish you a happy and healthy 2014



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

10 ways to help It’s Good 2 Give this Christmas

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In no particular order!

1.   Buy our fabulous Christmas cards – designed exclusively for us – by people we know and love – author and one of our Patrons, Cathy Cassidy, young cancer patient Tabby Lawson aged just 8, Kate Holliday of Sunlight on Closed Lids and award winning photographer Alexis Manson.  Printed in Scotland and packed right here in Edinburgh by our wonderful volunteers.  Amazing value at £4 for a pack of ten – Cathy and Kate’s cards and £3.50 for pack of ten of Alexis and Tabby’s cards


2.  Come along to our events – a few spaces left at all our events this year (close to sell out so don’t wait too long) or you can book a table at our 2014 Ball.  Join our mailing list to be kept up to date with all our news.


3.  Help us at our bagpacking or giftwrapping days – Saturday 21 December at Asda, Chesser Avenue and Sunday 22 December at M&S, Gyle – 2 hour shifts – email to add your name to the rota.


4.  Shopping online this Christmas?  Please consider doing it via Give as You Live – we get a donation at no cost to you – join here.


5.  Join our Christmas Cookie Club – a social baking experience mainly but also a wee fundraiser for us.  This is our first year and we hope to make it an annual experience.


6.  Join Team Pedal 4 Paul 2014 – our cycling challenge – late summer.


7.  Buy a voucher or products from The Make-up Studio, West Preston Street, Edinburgh and we receive 10% of all you spend. (quote Itsgood2give at time of purchase) -Chris is the only stockist in Scotland to have the Young Blood mineral make up range.  (we love it)


8. Buy a limited edition Hard Rock Cafe Lapel pin – with our logo and the iconic Forth Rail Bridge on it.  Every penny of the £8 price tag comes to us.


9. 2014 is the year of fitness for It’s Good 2 Give – register your interest in joining our ten week Pilates course (very limited availability -max 12 per course) with Iain Dunn starts mid February. cost £120.  Or you can register your interest in taking part in our Red Face Run – a 5km run/walk suitable for the whole family. Join our mailing list to be kept up to date with all our news


10.  For the jewellery lover – we have a beautiful hallmarked silver charm from Hamilton & Inches – perfect for a charm bracelet but also good (this is my way of wearing it) on a fine silver chain as a necklace.  £35 each and packaged in Hamilton & Inches signature purple boxes wrapped with ribbon.


I’m not going to add it on as number 11 but consider it a wee bonus suggestion!  We also have our Buy A Service option – do have a look here.  One of our supporters is buying three ironing vouchers as gifts for three of the mums who have children in treatment over Christmas.  Such a lovely and thoughtful idea.

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!