Kaleidoscope Fashion Show

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Oh my goodness.  What a show. What a wonderful show.

I do not mind admitting that Louise, Wilma, Shonagh, Susie and I were getting a wee bit stressed in the days leading up to the event – Managing 53 models, their hair appointments (I foolishly promised Darlene I wouldn’t make any changes to the schedule – ha ha – several changes later I ate humble pie), 14 independent clothing suppliers, 8 make up artists, several photographers, organising food and drink for all the volunteers  oh yes recruiting, briefing and managing those volunteers (there were more than 40 of them), arranging to pick up printing, clothes, rails, flowers, water and goodness knows what else.

Saturday saw Louise burning CD’s and back up CD’s and working out choreography – in between running her own beauty empire, Wilma was busy dodging about town collecting clothes turning her car into the itsgood2give van for the day, Marlyn and I were sorting ID badges, ticket lists, packing the car then later I was printing list after list till my printer packed up (yes before I was finished sadly but we had a back up plan and put that in place.  took a wee bit longer but hey, it worked). Susie was busy calming our young host’s nerves and getting her new shoes to match her two outfits. Shonagh was at Costco buying up their stock of water and chocolate oranges among other things.  Then there was Val at Flavour busy in her shop making up sandwiches for over 100 people – volunteers and models needed fed and Val was the woman to do that. Like everyone else involved in Sunday’s show she was donating her time and sandwiches (and crisps and milk and cakes)

Saturday was also not a great day weather wise which was a wee bit worrying – I didn’t want models to get their hair ruined before they even got to the school.

Sunday dawned dry- that was all we could ask for.  Ian and I  were up at 5  doing final packing of the  car and I was remembering my own clothes. (been there, done that, got that t shirt thanks – one year forgot my own clothes and make up.  Could get away with that then less so now)

We all met at the school at 0930 and offloaded my car so I could scoot to the hairdressers for first appt.  I wasn’t first there – Shonagh, Danny, Alfie, Lynn and Kieran were already there and the Carters too.  it was, as always, a lovely atmosphere- the team of stylists at Charlie Miller were led by Amber Lennie and it was good to see Cat there too and indeed it was Cat who came to the school with a couple of stylists to do last minute tweaking and preening.  Our models looked gorgeous.

The team from the Make up Academy of Scotland were fantastic too – bold bright colours perfect for the catwalk and the guys allowed a wee bit make up to be applied too.

Let us also remember the team at The Tom Fleming Centre for Performing Arts, – Chris, Liam and his colleague and the janitor.  They couldn’t do enough to help us. The catwalk was in Louise’s new idea of an H Shape with lighting uplighting it, our gobo was in place, the music and presentations were perfect.

We had a 20 strong team of volunteers from Lloyds Bank led by Julie Patience helping us and they were most welcome.  Helping do everything from sell raffle tickets, sell our merchandise, tombola (they exceeded my expectations there, well done guys), be our security team, help in refreshments and wardrobe.

Great supporter Kelly Manthorp, herself no stranger to organising even bigger events than this, took on the role of Front of House manager and I was glad of her there.

Everyone played their part to perfection.  My family – husband, stepdaughter and grandsons welcomed our guests and showed them to the auditorium.  I was in charge of wardrobe – tough call that one. Definitely learnt lots of lessons there that could be improved on for future shows but overall it was fun.  I even managed a last minute and fun shot on the catwalk wearing one of Silver Experience’s gorgeous cashmere ponchos – I chose a pink one as it matched my trainers (yep, wore them on the catwalk.) was fun and I wanted to go out again but perhaps another time.

I am scared to do a thank you list as I don’t want to forget anyone and fear I might – so many people gave of their time, skills, ideas and money to support us and I will but in a separate post with links to each of their businesses.

Our wonderful Patron Grant Stott was superb on the catwalk with co-host, Young Ambassador Sammi Bradley – she did have a few nerves before hand but I tell you what, they didn’t show on that stage – she was superb – as you can see from the photos.  And Grant had a word or two to say about her on his radio show on Monday.

This event is about giving everyone on the catwalk a fantastic and special day and giving the audience a great show and we achieved that.

We now have a great many photos to share with you – bear with me while I upload them  over next couple of weeks. There are a selection in the galleries below

Our superb photographers were

Glenda Robertson

Rich Dyson

Alex Hewitt

Stephanie Hunter

Lewis Donaldson

Some of Glenda Robertson’s photos

Some of Rich Dyson’s photos

A selection of Alex Hewitt’s photos



Reflections on past five or so years

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I was writing notes for a presentation I am doing next month at a conference. It took me back to the beginning – only 4 and a half years ago.

The reason we made the charity about children and young people with cancer was because a friend’s daughter was diagnosed aged just 10 – I visited them a few times and chatted with other families of young cancer patients realised how much the diagnosis affected the whole family.

And so, it was because of Iona and her family and other similar families that It’s Good 2 Give looks after young people aged from 0-25.

We started handing out our parent packs in 2009 and put in feedback forms – from those we constantly appraise what goes in the packs to make sure they are helpful as well as luxurious.

Early 2010 we started delivering the snacks – we had been asked by staff on the ward and took advice from the hospital dietician as to content and now we actually take the snack trolley round 3 days a week and we aim to extend that soon.

I remember the first few requests too –

Could we help a young family with a toddler get a trip to Thomas the Tank Engine Land?

Could we get a Barney dinosaur costume for  a nurse to wear to entertain a baby?

Could we get a mobile phone for a teenager with cataract problems?

I said yes very quickly to these though learnt a lesson there too – say Yes I will do my best.  I did manage to do them all but they were sure harder than I expected.  The Barney outfit almost had me.  All the costumes I could find were more like something someone would wear at Halloween – they were downright scarey they were so bad.  Determination is a good thing too and I was determined to deal with all those requests – I think I even managed to beg a spa voucher for the mum going to Thomas the Tank Engine land from the hotel I found them to stay in.   The Barney costume was fantastic in the end and the baby could hardly believe his eyes.  Though I think Helen the play specialist lost a few pounds that day wearing it!  We did manage to get the phone requested too and I still have the text with a smiley face from the teen after he set it up.

Those are big requests but we also managed a few smaller ones – the dongle delivered next day to a teen who was in the main ward and wanted internet access.  She was delighted and still talks about it to this day.

I remember too how we added ironing vouchers to our list of practical support – one of the mums said on Facebook one night that she wished someone could do her ironing and I thought, wait a minute, we could do that.  Not literally you understand – ironing is not my favourite pastime!  I got in touch with a few small ironing businesses and set up a system for buying vouchers from them.  So the businesses collect the laundry needing ironed, iron it and then deliver it back on hangers or folded whichever is your preference.  We can give up to 4 vouchers per family – it’s a small gift but very much appreciated.

Our programme of workshops has grown too – the aim with those is to get families together and also to introduce young people to new skills – skills they may just do once and never again or perhaps introduce them to something that becomes their hobby or sport.

And then there is the Ripple Retreat – a place of peace or activity – the family’s choice – they can just stay in the retreat for the whole week or take advantage of activities that will be on offer nearby.  Far more stunning than I anticipated or dreamt about – thanks to Tony Kettle and his oh so beautiful design and in an idyllic location thanks to the incredible kindness of David and Jean gifting us the land.   The Retreat will be available to families in treatment and also for bereaved families in the two years after bereavement.

It’s been an interesting, inspirational, moving journey in the past five years and I can’t wait to see what the next five years will bring.



Scottish Referendum

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I feel that this historic  day calls for a wee post.

If you thought though that I was going to tell you how I voted you are mistaken!  Nor will I beseech you to vote yes or no.  You are smart enough to know what you want as I believe I am.

What I want to say really  is my usual message of gratitude.

How lucky I am, we are, to live in this utterly beautiful country free to say pretty much what we like about politicians, the royals, referendum – without fear of reprisal.  I am saddened to see signs destroyed or flags burned – not sure what that proves except disrespect but I have seen a great deal of discussion and debate – mostly measured and often passionate.  And what kind of referendum would this be if not for passion?  Not much point in it really.

I am passionate about our charities, about my fundraising and most certainly about supporting the families we come into contact with.  So it is good to see passion from all the people debating this subject.

More than anything though – come Friday morning when the result is announced I want us to shake hands and work together again to move forward in the post IndyRef world, whatever it is.

We can do that.

St Andrews Charity Fashion Show

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The largest student-run charity fashion show in the UK.

For romantics among you, also the fashion show that Kate Middleton modelled at and where Prince William, it has been suggested, first noticed her.

And I am beyond proud to tell you that the benefitting charity in 2015 is It’s Good 2 Give.

This is just fantastic news for us and the whole team is so excited.

Read more here about the show and watch this space for news!


the Buccleuch Property Challenge

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Wonderfully, we have been chosen as charity of the year by Buccleuch Property and they have a fantastic and tough physical challenge coming up.

Would you like to be part of it?  Or know a business who would like to put in a team?  Please tell them about it.

The Buccleuch Property Challenge, which is taking place on Friday 5th September at Drumlanrig Castle.

The entry fee is £500 plus VAT per team.  The team would consist of 3 people, male or female.  You can of course enter more than 1 team should you wish.   It is a one day event.

Here is a brief description of the event itself:-

“The Buccleuch Property Challenge will take place on Friday 5th September 2014 at our Drumlanrig Estate in Dumfries and Galloway which provides a stunning backdrop to the day.  This is the 8th year the event has been run and it is always a lot of fun!  The event consists of about 6 hours of non-stop adventure with the emphasis on team work.
The challenge is for teams of 3 (mixed teams as well as single sex teams), to travel together through all stages of the course, competing against the clock, and collecting bonuses from the different checkpoints reached.  The team with the most points and fastest time will win the event.  The event will be followed by a BBQ and prize giving.”

The event includes mostly riding a mountain bike, running or (walking if preferred!), orienteering, and other activities such as kayaking, archery every year there is something a little bit different and all very good fun!

The morning starts with the registration from 7am to 8.30am, then a briefing, and the race starts at 9-9.15am.  It will finish by 4pm.  The winners often get in at about 3-3.30pm or earlier!

There is a BBQ which begins at 4pm, the prize giving is at around 6pm and the day closes by about 7pm.

If you would like more information or a registration form please do get in touch.


Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay

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Do you know, when I started this chapter of my life 8 plus years ago, I had no idea where it was going to take me or how it was going to change me.

It has introduced me to thousands of people – people with kindness in their hearts and hands in their wallets and purses.  People willing to go the extra mile with me and for me.

And young people with quite remarkable courage.

From that August day in 2006 when I met Zoe, Ross and Pamela and their parents – heard their stories, I knew I was going to do all I could to make their time in treatment a wee bit better.

There are other charities out there and together we try to complement what each other does.

Hearing about side effects of treatment (some of which are too horrible to repeat), or the stomach churning fear that lives in parents – will their child live, if they do what after effects do that have to live with forever and for far too many parents the worst does happen and they have to learn to live without their child.

It is unimaginable.

I tell you all this because, on Saturday, when I carry the Queen’s Baton into the Debating Chamber of the Scottish Parliament I will do so with immense pride – I am deeply  honoured to have been nominated and even more so to have been chosen to take it into Parliament – last night when I read that I was going to do that I felt very very nervous and was worrying about doing it and about what I look like in the baton bearer’s uniform!  During the night I thought more about it and awoke with a different view (and in fact, checked my phone to find a message from a friend who is a mum of a youngster just completed treatment saying same thing)

I will carry that baton with pride for all I and my team have achieved over past 8 plus years (raising well over £1m for young cancer patients and their families) – of course I will.

But mainly I will carry that baton for all the young people I have known who have fought cancer – those who have won, those still fighting and those who lost their hard fought battles.



Volunteer Week

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We have much to celebrate in our volunteer team.

It’s not a big team but it sure is a wonderful team.

All ages – from little Alfie who helps at events, Ross who is a brilliant helper at events and now a fundraiser himself, to Helen who shops for the snacks for ward 2 and is now one of the team going round the ward handing out the snacks and Tia who is our Creative Director helping make our events stand out from the crowd, Ann who will wash lego for us and iron tie backs, to our newest recruits – Anne and Emma – proved themselves as rather wonderful volunteers during our current busy season.

We love you all, need you and appreciate you.

Here’s to you, our It’s Good 2 Give volunteers


I don’t have photos of all our volunteers but here is a small selection!

I wanted to find some of my stepdaughter Susan – she has helped me at events from the get-go – as have my parents Helen and Neil – their way was to help dust and vacuum our house and do ironing – I have a cracking photo of my dad ironing in the sun.  It freed me up to fundraise.

And my absolute best volunteer of all is my husband, Ian – project director for the Ripple Retreat and chief cook and bottlewasher at home – does a sterling job of shopping and cooking for us thus allowing me to manage the charity.


Day 1 of Raise £100k in 5 weeks

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Good morning everyone

day one begins – let’s do this.

Let’s Raise £100,000 in the next five weeks.

Please do consider helping – big ways, small ways, any ways.

Make a donation here

Come to an event

Save 20p pieces in a Smartie tube (£12 in a tube, you know) and give them to us during next five weeks


Sponsor part or all of an event

Ebay an item and make a % of sales come to us

Donate old mobile phones or ink cartridges (or if you an office, take a recycling box and save items that way)







We welcome your support and thank you for helping – even if you just help us promote events or ideas on social media.



Help us Raise £100,000 in 5 weeks – Lynne and Janette’s Special Afternoon Tea event

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As part of the challenge to raise £100,000 in 5 weeks, It’s Good 2 Give Co-founder and Chair Lynne McNicoll is hosting a special afternoon tea event with friend and great supporter, Janette McPherson

It will happen on Sunday 15 June 2014 between 2 and 4pm at Lynne’s house (address will be given when booking confirmed)

They will turn Lynne’s house into a tearoom for the afternoon and serve fresh sandwiches with gorgeous fillings, fluffy scones with cream and home made jam, Lynne’s Devonshire splits, Janette’s famous baking with tea and coffee

We even have live music!

Numbers are very limited as you can imagine and so book soon.

Tickets cost £25 per person – superb value.

To reserve your place please email.

As this is taking place in a private home, we will need to know at least one person in your party.

dreamy post

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Do you ever just look up at the sky? Look at the formations of the clouds or watch vapour trails from planes ? I do. I love to look at the sky and appreciate its huge variety of colours. Like many , my favourite colour is blue and my least favourite grey but I also know that we are lucky to get rain just wish there was bit less of it.
I love fluffy clouds and feel it so exciting if I see a ‘saltire’ vapour trail! Happens reasonably often by the way.
So many colours and shades of colours
While I love that golden orb in the sky too my absolute favourite time to look at the sky is at night in winter.
A clear sky filled with stars and the moon.  In any of it’s phases. Tonight it’s a big fat full moon and quite stunning. I can see the surface of it quite clearly.  Before long it will be a tiny crescent moon.
Twinkly stars remind me of how amazing we are,
Look out at them. There are different sizes- the little ones barely noticeable but the bigger ones are so sparkly they are like diamonds.
It’s a bit of a random blog I know but it’s what I am thinking about tonight