Ripple Retreat

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

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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.

Perfect Sunday for a spot of office work

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It has been a very grey January Sunday  so after our lovely 50min early morning swim I decided to settle down in the office and get on with projects.   I feel very very pleased that I was able to sort a computer app issue.  We have a lovely guy who helps us but is also super busy – he wasn’t able to come for a few days and I was really fed up with the problem (Outlook wouldn’t load at all) so I sat down and researched the issue on Google.  There were several solutions and at first I wasn’t sure which one to try – I ended up trying the one that sounded most plausible.  It took hours to do but after three hours I got my Outlook to load and all my emails came back – I was so pleased!  Then, of course, I had to sort the emails – there were 250 to go through and I have managed to reply or file 175 of them today!

I had a nice break from all of that when Trustee Susie B visited – she is busy with a new job but also has recruited 21 trekkers to do a climb up Ben Nevis in May.  We talked about her plans and her fundraising ideas and she tried out the Egg chair we have for the family room at Ripple Retreat.  Her verdict?  Very comfy and great for reading a book.  Which is exactly the plan for it!

So, it has been a day of paperwork – well, virtual paperwork!  Surveys, To Do Lists, emails, fundraising plans, e-vites (starting the plans for the Official Opening event), a newsletter to our corporate supporters, starting the plans for a Family Day at the Retreat.

And here I am writing this blog.  About to stop though and sit for a couple of hours reading my book.  (Maggie O’Farrell – This must be the Place – in case you are interested!)

I promised myself I would try to read and relax more this year even though we are super busy – so we have given up some TV watching and taken up book reading (well OH has continued with newspaper reading).   And I am enjoying it!

Thanks for reading – it’s so nice to hear from some of you and to know that someone is reading my blog!!

Ripple Retreat Site visit

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it was great to see progress on site today. We went up to a meeting with the company who are going to build our pier and that went very well. I took a stroll along the shore. It was such a peaceful day. Not too chilly, or windy though it was a little grey. But then, it is January!

‘We came home via our favourite pit stop -Blair Drummond Smiddy. Great service, food, butcher and veg. You can see the specials menu below!

There was a lot of ‘homework’ to do so that took care of the rest of the afternoon.

Enjoy some photos from the site visit. (And of two lovely donations we got yesterday for our Ripple `Retreat)

Ripley the Bear – perfect for Valentine’s Day

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Snuggly bears aren’t just for kids!  This one is almost an investment – Made by Merrythought Bears in England this quality bear is a collectible as well as cuddly bear and we have  called him  Ripley! This teddy bear is non-jointed and is 8″ sitting.  He is also wearing a specially designed It’s Good 2 Give t shirt.  All profits from this bear go towards  our Ripple Retreat.

I think he would look perfect for a Valentine’s gift and if you are thinking of popping the question he’d look cute as holding the jewellers box.

Best bit – as well as giving your loved one a Valentine gift you are also helping a small charity fundraise.   Win, win.

He is £50 and we get half of that.  Post and packing at cost or collect from Edinburgh location.

Patron Grant takes a break from radio

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I was all geared up to tell you about my lovely day and I will, just not today!

Because….

I want to wish our first and longest serving Patron, Grant Stott, all the best as he hangs up his headphones for a while – after 27 years at Radio Forth he is taking a break to pursue some different opportunities.

He is a cracking Patron and friend and we all hope 2017 is all he wants it to be.

Here is a link to the official statement!

http://www.forth1.com/pages/granttakesabreak/

All the Best, Grant

Love, Bunty and the entire IG2G team.

Grant hosting Blingo

Grant hosting Blingo

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

Friday fun

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How is it Friday already? Days are rushing along.  it is actually only 3 months till we should be given the Ripple Retreat and then pretty it up inside and really get started on the garden.  Not long at all!

While Ian and I can and do work pretty hard on all things Ripple Retreat there are still lots of things It’s Good 2 Give to deal with too.  Finally, finally, today we finished the filing – and how tidy the office looks now.  I ordered little christmas trees today for our Xmas Afternoon Tea, worked on Blingo a wee bit, ordered lanyards, tried my hardest for hours to design an invitation and then decided that Event Brite was the answer – only to have it lose my first draft. That’s not fair, is it?  Ok, I lost the first draft probably!  Anyway, after 3 hours I got it done.  Now to start sending it out.  We are limited for space on the day itself so it will be a small affair.

I am also working on the four weeks we will be open to the public – well I say public – it still has to be by invitation – as space really is limited.  But we do want as many people as possible to see what they have helped create.  It’s a varied life at the moment for sure.

As I was tidying today I found our recycling box for mobile phones – it is half full and it would be so good to get it filled up and sent off – wee bit more money in the bank would be nice.  So, if you have an old mobile, do send it our way!

Update on prize requests – the wonderful Rupert at James Morrow has offered prizes for events this year and I chatted to a new distillery in Callander who have offered to help us too.  We are now up to 75 prizes in – only another 175 to get then!  Again, if you know anyone who might donate a prize or experience or auction item or sponsor part of an event, oh please do send them my way.

I would also love to get more followers – on this blog, twitter (@itsgood2give) facebook, (itsgood2give), instagram (itsgood2give) so if you can help do that – it would be much appreciated.

My weekend plans include writing a newsletter, more prize request letters, writing a business plan for 2017/18, updating the website, and a lot of baking and soup making (for my parents and a friend in need of tlc).

Have a wonderful weekend folks but do keep reading!

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Thank you Pentland Medical Centre

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After all my dashing about yesterday to avoid the terrible snowstorms due today – we were lucky if we saw three flakes of snow all day.  However it was good to be able to stay home most of the day doing admin.  Two lots of furniture arrived for our Retreat – dining chairs and a toy box.  I got plenty exercise opening the boxes and checking all the items and putting them back.  They are lovely though!

At lunchtime Ian and I popped over to Pentland Medical Centre because they had raised £310 for us and we wanted to do a wee photo with the Practice Manager and some of the team who organised the fundraising. Then it was back home to send the photo to the Evening News community page.

Two days out of the office meant there were a lot of emails to deal with – I did pretty well answering as many as possible and had some calls to make too.  Tonight I was going to do some invites to our official opening but my night computer has decided it needs a rest or has the lurgy.  I have asked our IT doc to come see it tomorrow.  It has to be back at full pelt by the weekend as there is lots to get on with.  I feel so very very fortunate to be so busy.

When I was going through chemo all I longed for (more than almost anything else – well except for my cup of tea tasting nice again) was an ordinary busy day and I was given that gift and I shall never forget how lucky I am to have it.

This evening’s frightful task was to secure Dropbox for business – we had a very unpleasant experience with them a couple of years ago so I was apprehensive.  However it has gone well so far (she says, touching wood) and will mean an even better filing system for us.  It did take me two hours though.  It is now 9pm and even if I wanted to I would be downing tools or Ian would be giving me a row.

Meet the lovely team from Pentland today

from left to right

Ruth Davies, (Paul’s mum), Pauline Hutton, (practice manager) me and Sharon Kane

A bit of a frenetic Monday

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The day started off so well.

Och and it hasn’t ended badly – it just got lots of extra things added to it and I felt as though it needed extra hours added to deal with them all!

It really is quite hard to keep up at the moment.

Monday mornings are for my parents – I take them over to the Gyle, they do their shopping, I do a meeting, we then meet up for a coffee and I take them home.

Today was an opportunity to meet up with fellow Trustee Susan for a chat and share ideas.

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On the way home I got a call that meant I needed to go into city centre for an urgent meeting to discuss a potential problem with an event, then return home and consider options.  I also needed to prepare for an all day interviewing session tomorrow, learn how to set up Skype (yeah yeah it was easy in the end), pay for more Ripple Retreat furniture and fix up its delivery date to coincide as far as possible with the delivery dates of other items of furniture. Those two sentences don’t really convey the feeling that this day didn’t have enough hours in it.

Well, I knew this year would be challenging time wise – before you know it, it will be time to open the Retreat.  I actually relish the challenge but I still wish the days were a wee bit longer.

I enjoyed a good chat with our London Marathon runner tonight on Skype – she has lots of plans to promote her participation and support of our charity and we shall both be sharing those next week.  Long time supporter Aileen popped by today with gifts for the Retreat and also to let me know she is walking the West Highland Way for us this summer.  Keeping her feet firmly on Scottish soil this year but perhaps we can tempt her with information about our Bhutan trek in 2018!

And apparently it is 7 years this week since we set up It’s Good 2 Give – we didn’t get our charity registration till April 10th but we started the process, applying for registration, setting up a website, admin etc this very week 7 years ago. What a long way we have come.

Right, guys, I still have papers to read for tomorrow so I bid you good night.