Buccleuch Property Challenge

Posted by | Charity of the Year | No Comments

Super busy few weeks for us – let me tell you a bit about this weekend.

Friday we were up at the crack of dawn  before dawn – 5am to start our trip to Thornhill in Dumfries and Galloway – we were going to Drumlanrig Castle to marshal at the Buccleuch Property Challenge.

We are the benefitting charity.   Ian and our grandson Sam loaded up our car on the Thursday night and there was barely enough space for Sam in the back – but we managed it.  Ian was navigator and I was driving.  Sat nav sometimes fails so Ian had his trusty map book out.  He had also made up (ballencrieff)bacon and (free range) egg sandwiches which smelt delicious.

After a windy road drive – not my favourite- we arrived at our destination – oh my gosh.  As you drove up the long drive facing the Castle you were blown away by the beauty of the place – and the views across the valley were stunning too.  What a seriously beautiful place – courtyard shops, gardens, cafe – even a bike rental shop.

Ian, Sam and I got to erecting our marquee – it is huge and hard to do but with youth on our side (Sam) we managed it fine.  Sam is also taller than  us which helped in getting the sides of the tent on.

Soon after we arrived the rest of the team did too – we did have a wee chuckle at Rosie’s expense – she and Sam were clearly not early morning people.  By 10am their normal cheery selves had returned though.

After our marshal briefing session, James our Blue Sky contact took us to the area we were going to be supervising.  Susan had owned up (ok, truth to tell, Susan’s daughter Rosie said) to having a lifesaver certificate – so Susan was marshalling at the loch where participants had to go down a steep slope, strip off most of their clothes and swim across the (little) loch and back.

The rest of us were at the Commonwealth games area – we had a javelin area, shot putt and discus throwing.  Oh what fun we had – we had to practice so we knew what to tell participants – James warned us that sometimes folk threw outside the ‘zone’ so we were to be extra careful where spectators stood.  Marlyn went first with the practice discus throw.  And promptly threw the blooming thing way outside the zone!  Oh, how we laughed.  Till it was our shot.  Jings, that whole discus throwing is harder than it looks.  And as for the javelin throwing – maximum respect to good javelin throwers.  We didn’t see many of them on Friday.  What we did see was folk giving it their all – what a brilliant day. Susan wasn’t required to rescue anyone thank goodness. In fact the Medic wasn’t required at all.

Rosie and I went to the finish line to help with scoring (really complicated) and we were glad to be able to help speed up the process.

I think all the competitors were in by 4pm and then it was bbq time and prizegiving.  we had the chance to chat with participants and show them the Ripple Retreat plans.

Then it was time to get the tent down and get ourselves home – we got home back of 9pm and pretty much headed straight to bed!

Immense thanks to Buccleuch Property for choosing us as Charity of the Year and to Caorunn Gin, Montpeliers, the Sheraton Grand, Sue Gibson, Balanced Physiotherapy for donations of prizes and goody bag items. All were appreciated!

Enjoy a few photos of the day……..


Kiltwalk 2015 – charity partner

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The weather outside is mixed but still good for walking.

I used to be really fit and am not so much now.  So I pledge now to get fitter starting this week.

I am going to start a team of walkers and take part in the Edinburgh Kiltwalk 2015. (it’s 3 May 2015)

Last night we got confirmation that we are one of the charity partners for the Edinburgh Kiltwalk which is just tremendous.

The goal now is to have 300 walkers taking part for It’s Good 2 Give.

Registration is open and early bird entry fees till end Oct are £20 plus £1.50 fee. You also have to pledge to raise £200 each.

Who’s in?

Get signing up now, folks.

Make no mistake – this is a challenge but one that can be easily achieved both in terms of fundraising and training.  Plenty of time to do both.

All money raised will go towards our Ripple Retreat.   And by the way, eating Ripple bars is not part of the training plan!


The Fit Festival

Posted by | Events, fitness | No Comments

Great news for us and an offer for you.

Chosen as the charity partner for this year’s Fit Festival at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh on 18 and 19 October we have a special code just for you if you are booking tickets.

quote itsgood2give in the promo box and you will get 20% discount off your ticket price.

We are looking forward to being part of this festival and will have a team at it promoting our physical challenges.

Arctic Trek

Pedal 4 Paul

Kiltwalk 2015

Runs and other walks

hope to see you there.

Volunteers and opportunities

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I have a quotes wall in my house with inspirational (to me) quotes

One of those is

“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they are worthless but because they are priceless.”

That is true of every volunteer who helps It’s Good 2 Give.

I tell them so as often as I can – when the Ripple Retreat is built we will all be able to say what we did to make it so.  From the architect Tony Kettle and his team donating their skills and time, our Patrons, Ambassador and our Young Ambassadors spreading the word about the charity and hosting events, to the dozens of volunteers who help at major events like the Fashion show. We need them all. We love them all.

Over the summer I’ve been working on plans for the year ahead – an exciting and challenging year.  We need a few more volunteers.

Folks who can be regular volunteers working from their own homes mainly.  We have a big pool of volunteers able to help at one off events (though it is always nice to have more names on that list too) but it is regular volunteers we need right now.

We need

  • a volunteer who will be a newsletter contributor – sourcing  content, conducting interviews, writing up stories
  • a volunteer who will manage our Pinterest pages
  • a volunteer who will look after our Givers Club
  • a volunteer to manage our Pound Pics competition

each of those volunteers would need to be able to work 2/3 hours a week (though with Pinterest it would turn into more as it is easy to spend many hours on Pinterest!)

We have job descriptions for anyone who would like more information – if you have time to donate and any of these roles interest you please do get in touch with me.

Clothes for Charity – Doing a clearout? consider us

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Meet our new partners

Clothes for Charity

A new, secure and simple way to support us with your clothes donations


We’ve partnered up with a great new organisation called Clothes For Charity to make it simpler and much more secure for you to donate your unwanted clothes and help us fund some wonderful projects.


This is how it works

At www.clothesforcharity.org.uk, you can choose to donate to us or request a secure and trackable donation bag and Clothes For Charity will pick it up from wherever’s convenient for you. They’ll even send you an email telling you it got their safely.


Best of all, while most charity clothing collection schemes will only hand over £70 per tonne to the charity, they give us £200 per tonne, meaning we can do even more great work thanks to your donation.


You can visit their website and see just how simple and secure it is to donate.


So please donate through Clothes For Charity and ask your friends to do them same. The more clothes donated on our behalf, the more great work we can do!



New Partnership with Informed Edinburgh

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Delighted to let you know we have a new partnership with Karen and her team at Informed Edinburgh – in addition to promoting our events and the charity generally, Karen and her team are going to help us with marketing and writing press releases – not my strong point!

It is so nice to have partnerships that offer support like this – gives a nice balance in the businesses that support us – from those that do active fundraising to those who provide their skills and we love them all.



Guest blog by Trustee Marlyn doing her own Pedal 4 Paul

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I’ll take the high road…


I love cycling. I don’t like rain or hills. So why did I agree to undertake the coast to coast from Whitehaven to Whitley Bay? Having Pedalled 4 Paul along the Glasgow to Edinburgh route two years running I thought I’d try a different challenge. So when friend D asked if I would like to join her and two friends cycling the 140 mile route over 4 days I said yes and set up a fundraising page. I didn’t check the gradients.

Day 1 We parked in Whitley Bay and an ecotaxi ferried us, our bikes and panniers (but not my bell which flew off en route) to Whitehaven.   After our driver Bruce recounted a tale of a rider who got stuck ankle deep on the slipway while dipping her wheels in the water at the start we dispensed with that tradition and set off along the old railway track. Before long we started to climb, and climb. Still, we would have plenty stops for tea and cake. Or so we thought. Not a cafe to be seen until 5 miles from Keswick and that was closed. Having the heaviest bike and my extra 13 years were telling already and I was trailing the others by some way. But a downhill run to the B&B, a quick shower and off to see the broadcast National Theatre production of Skylights at the wonderful Alhambra cinema. Fabulous play then chips in the square – too tired to carry a fish supper.

Day 2 Headed uphill out of Keswick. This was to be the most difficult day – the longest distance with the greatest ascents (note the plural). By the time we reached Penrith with the 6 mile climb to Alston ahead I decided I was becoming a liability and should go ahead by taxi with all the panniers which would benefit the others too especially as the wind direction had changed and it was coming from the east.. Very disappointed in myself but the best decision.

Day 3 Headed uphill out of Alston – what else? This was supposed to be the easiest and shortest day. Before long the mist came down and the heavens opened cutting the visibility over the moors significantly. We stopped, as did the rain, in Allanheads –“ the highest village in England “– for some lunch and a change of clothes. Set off again uphill (how come?) and it tipped it down. Up and up. My mudguard had mysteriously disappeared overnight and so arrived at our rather posh hotel in Blanchland dripping wet and covered in oil. Our immaculate hosts handled our startling appearance with aplomb. Nor were they fazed when we managed to jam the plug in the bathroom sink and couldn’t budge it and also drop a bottle of sun tan lotion beyond reach behind a radiator.

Day 4 Uphill out of Blanchland – can you see a pattern here? Just when I thought I could go no further –for the past three days I had been trudging up the hills – we hit the downward phase to the river Derwent then the Tyne through Newcastle and Tynemouth to Whitley Bay and an ice cream.


I think the blurb on the coast to coast website must have been written by Mark Beaumont or Jason Kenny.   This was much much harder than I anticipated from the description and, even although I missed a wee chunk in the middle, I am chuffed to have done what I did. I couldn’t have done it without my wonderfully patient and supportive travelling companions. And thank you so much to those who sponsored me. Would I do it again? Definitely….not!

Marlyn Minto

Trustee, It’s good 2 give

If you would like to sponsor Marlyn you can do so here.

Thank You

Posted by | £100k in 5 weeks | No Comments

Three lovely cheque handovers in the past few days

first of all it was up to Little Learners Nursery in Edinburgh to collect a cheque for £300 from a fundraising day they held in June.








then on Friday it was to meet Peter Hardie who ran the Edinburgh Marathon (and who remembers the day of the Marathon with stair rod rain and horrible winds??) for us.









and on Saturday it was another lovely cheque handover from the Sing in the City directors Kirsty Baird and Annette – they organised a concert in memory of Michaela Waddell, one of our Young Ambassadors and a member of one of the Sing in the city choirs. Michaela’s parents came along too though her mum preferred taking the photo rather than being in it hence only David being in the photo with me, Annette and Kirsty.

sing in the city july 14








We do very much appreciate all donations we receive and love it when we have photos like these to share with you.



Natalia Catechis

Posted by | Special supporters | No Comments

It is so nice to tell you what our supporters get up to.

the last post was about our wonderful Grant and his show in the Fringe and now I want to tell you about another of our wonderful supporters – this time teenager Natalia.

Natalia has performed at our fashion show – actually she has modelled at it too, often!  She and friends sang for us two years ago and they were superb.

I have since seen Natalia in two shows – one was Godspell and earlier this year I saw her perform in Hairspray.

To see her develop into a very talented actress is wonderful.

She is performing in the Fringe Festival this year with the Forth Children’s Theatre and I urge you to get tickets and go see their show – my all time favourite – Les Miserables.

I am going on 1 August and can’t wait.

Read more here and get your tickets soon.


Grant Stott

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As you know one of our Patrons is Grant Stott.

When he is not promoting It’s Good 2 Give – and he does that a lot – he gets up to all sorts of stuff – he presents a fantastic weekday radio show on Radio Forth 1 – listened to by millions (at least).  He is funny, kind, daft, smart and has a great way with words.  He is the best panto baddy ever. He loves Hibs. And more recently he has added acting to his repertoire.

Last year he and Andy Gray (another  of the Panto trio) did a two man show in the Fringe Festival.

Called ‘Kiss Me Honey, Honey’, it was a sell out and deservedly so.  It also won an award.

The great news is – they are back this year.  I highly recommend seeing the show and give you more information below.

Tickets on sale now.


Kiss Me Honey, Honey!

“a true jewel in the crown of the Gilded Balloon” – Broadway Baby



Written by Philip Meeks

Directed by Sam Kane

Performed by Grant Stott and Andy Gray

         “Scotland’s most seasoned comic performers” – The Scotsman


Due to overwhelming demand and following a total sell-out season at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013, the Fringe First Award winning hit stage show returns with a ‘last chance to see’ limited run of seven performances from 17 -20 & 23 – 24 August.


Two men of a certain age form an unlikely friendship through a shared love of Shirley Bassey. Together they begin a hilarious search for the women of their dreams, after their lives seem to have fallen apart. Acclaimed Scottish actors Andy Gray and Grant Stott star as Ross and Graham … and all the women in their lives, in a “dazzling display of comic skill” – The Scotsman.


The show is alarmingly fast paced, with a darkness underneath the hilarious, sometimes shambolic look at life, relationships and what it means to reach a more ‘mature’ age and stage and find yourself not where you thought you’d be.


Commissioned for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe by Karen Koren, Artistic Director of the Gilded Balloon, in 2013 this is truly a play for Edinburgh. Starring two local favourites of Panto Dame fame – Andy Gray and Grant Stott; more than proving they have a serious side too!


“Make no mistake; Gray and Stott’s delivery – in gesture and spoken lines – is as tight as a rusted wing nut.” ***** Edinburgh Evening News


Written by the acclaimed playwright Philip Meeks, who also wrote the 2012 Gilded Balloon hit ‘Murder, Marple and Me’ and directed by the much loved Sam Kane, this star-studded creative team sparkle.


“Simple, old-school fun that doesn’t need to try too hard – Kiss Me Honey, Honey is full of laughs and real life pathos. See it.” – Daily Record


“it will make you laugh, until you cry.” – **** The Scotsman


“Kiss Me Honey, Honey! is a tour de force” – Ed Fest Magazine


Box Office Details:

Venue: Gilded Balloon Debating Hall, Teviot Row House, Edinburgh EH8 9AJ

Venue number: 14

Dates: 17th – 20th, 23rd & 24th August * Limited Run *

Times: 19:30 (20:30) & 24th August matinee at 16:30 (17:30)

Weekday Tickets: £12.50 (£11.50)    Weekend Tickets: £12.50 (£11.50)

Box Office: Gilded Balloon – +44 (0)131 622 6552 | https://www.gildedballoon.co.uk / Fringe – Fringe +44 (0)131 226 0000