Grant Stott

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 | / Fringe – Fringe +44 (0)131 226 0000



Spring Blingo 2014

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

Was the sun going to shine or was the rain going to win?  Small concerns that I had the night before Spring Blingo.

As it happened and thanks to a summer cold I caught the day before, I was up at 5am on the morning of Blingo and very glad to see that it was at least going to be a dry day.

Blingo planning starts more than a year in advance and continues throughout the year right up to the day itself.

280 guests

2 wonderful hosts in Grant Stott and Tonya Macari

5 members of staff at the Crowne Plaza Roxburghe Hotel looking after us pre-event and goodness knows how many during the event

3 games bingo requiring 3 house prizes, 3 line prizes and 3 backup prizes in case there are two winners (this year there were two line winners in one game)

1 menu tasting – chef knows we will invariably say we like this from this plate but can we have it with that from that plate and we love the jus but can we have it in a separate gravy boat.   He has always come up trumps for us

35 raffle prizes – 35 really good raffle prizes

3 auction items

1 sweetie raffle item

28 table gifts – a tough one this year but literally at the last minute a company stepped in and sponsored these – so my immense thanks to Oilfield Mineral Solutions Limited

280 goody bag items – this is the one I find the hardest to source.

100 bottles sparkling water

3 cars needed to deliver all the ‘stuff’ to the hotel and

15 amazing volunteers to get it all ready and help during the event itself.

Yep, it’s big.

1900597_10152439299807148_7673384842299084293_oOur creative director is Tia Millar and this year she asked us to consider a spring theme – lime green.  Well, I don’t know about you but we all loved it.  Many guests said how lovely the room looked – she had chosen green orchids, green laser grass and we had green sand in our vases – the lime green tie-backs looked amazing (though ironing them was a huge task wonderfully undertaken by volunteer Ann for four hours in the afternoon, yes four hours!)   Our newest volunteers Anne and Emma were superb too – Anne set up a wonderful balloon arch and Emma took on the running of the Buy a Service table.






Vice-Chair Susan runs the raffles, auctions and table gifts with ease now having done it now for 8 years.

Grant and Tonya are just amazing – wonderful people and superb hosts.  Grant is so cheeky and Tonya a perfect foil for him.









I also want to thank Shonagh Byrne for allowing me to put up a photo of little Evie – her daughter forever 2 – and for loaning me albeit for just a few minutes and quite rightly not letting me or them out of her sight – Evie’s beads of courage.  I found it very hard to talk to our audience about them – holding them in my hands, seeing her name in beads knowing that these were the first beads and seeing the butterfly next to them knowing that no parent wanted to be given a butterfly because that meant they had lost their child.  The white beads were for chemo treatments, the red ones for blood treatments, the list went on.  The beads felt heavy in my hands.  How had a little girl aged just 1 endured so much?

Showing Tabby’s photo was lovely – I had asked her permission (and her mum and dad’s) – the photo showed her smiling like a cheshire cat as she finished treatment last week after a long two and a half years.  I was thinking though that Tabby was not going to be smiling like that when she found out that the Lindt soft toy bunny she wanted (and had offered me £400 for from her own savings) was gone to a guest at our auction!!

We showed Michaela’s photo too – a great loss – 22 years old and a quite lovely person – a much loved Young Ambassador of It’s Good 2 Give – she also volunteered for the WRVS, and sang in the Sing in the City choir.

Last photo up was of Shannon taken 4 years ago a few months after her bone marrow transplant.  She looked proper poorly with no hair and a NG tube still in.  I said they might remember hearing about her 4 years ago at that Blingo and I wanted to give them an update.  My surprise for them was that she was with us in her role as Young Ambassador and came into the room and chatted with Grant.

Blingo really is our favourite event and it is a massive team event so to all the team, whatever your role, I say thank you.

To Grant and Tonya a very special thank you for all you do.

To our printing partner Callprint Edinburgh who printed the programme and extras for us including signs for the Tombola and Raffle – thanks so much.

To Val and the team at Flavour – for feeding our volunteers – yum and thank you.

And to each and every guest at our Blingo our heartfelt thanks for your support and generosity

We raised £16500 on thursday – a PB for Blingo!

Here’s to the next one…….

Istvan Magyar was our official photographer for the event – you can see his photos here – if you would like a high resolution digital image we can arrange that for you for a small donation!

Jamie from We are Campfire came along and did a short film of the event – I love it and hope you do too.





A very special 10th It’s Good 2 Give Blingo

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Nothing quite like it.
It’s Good 2 Give Bingo, dinner, wine and fun – what’s not to like?

This is a special year for us – our 10th Blingo at the Crowne Plaza Roxburghe Hotel, Charlotte Square, Edinburgh – help us celebrate in style.

Thursday 14 May 2015
6.45pm till 11.30pm

£550 for table of ten – inc reception drink, 3 course meal with half bottle wine and tea/coffee. 3 games bingo with terrific prizes

Hosted by the one and only Grant Stott and Tonya Macari!

if you want to come along contact


Odd socks

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Four years ago in July this lovely boy lost his fight with cancer. He was 17 years old and had fought hard for four years. His name was Paul. And I was privileged to know him.paul-small


I set up cancer charity, It’s Good 2 Give in 2010 and we were asked to help Paul. He needed a blackberry mobile phone. I agreed to get it. Paul was delighted. I still have the smiley facetext he sent me to test out his new phone. His mum told me later how much it meant to him – he had cataracts (a side effect of one of the treatments he had endured) so he couldn’t see well but with the blackberry he was able to increase the font size and stay in touch with his friends. He used it to do this until the day before he died.

After his death his mum, Ruth, dad, Stephen and sister, decided to fundraise for us. Team Pedal 4 Paul was formed – it’s a cycling team. Paul loved to wear odd socks so one of the requirements of being in the team is to wear odd socks in his memory. In 2012 it had 67 members and last year there were 128 in the team. We’ve raised over £20,000 this way so far and the team is still growing. This year we are aiming for 200 cyclists. Read more here.



It’s a great way to honour Paul. And the money raised is going towards our £1million fundraising target for Its Good 2 Give. It’s an ambitious figure but  we are well on our way. So what are we planning to do with all that money? Well, we’re going to build a retreat where young cancer patients and their families can spend time together. We’ve been gifted a site and we’ve applied for planning permission.

We could really use a hand and it’s easy to help. We’ve got three big fundraising events this year including a Ball with Grant Stott (our charity patron) as host and auctioneer. We thought it would be fun if we had some celebrity odd socks to auction.

Do you know any celebrities we could ask (or you could on our behalf?)

We want them to send us two of their odd socks – even better if they signed them – or (if the socks won’t allow) give us a signature on a piece of paper.

We’ll get the odd socks framed – we’re hoping to get some great publicity with our quirky idea.

Celebrity socks can make a difference! We’d love it if you could help us out.

Our own wonderful Patron, Grant Stott has secured us a pair from Allan Stewart and Andy Gray so along with his pair we will have a special Panto socks package! (it’s ok, they are all washed!)

If you know of a celebrity who might be willing to take part, please let us know and we can give you a template letter to send to them along with information on the charity – also we are keeping a spreadsheet so that celebrities only get asked once. 
If you can help please contact Shonagh on



Scottish Property Awards 2014

Posted by | Charity of the Year | No Comments

Our first year as benefitting charity!

The awards dinner was held at the Sheraton Grand hotel, Edinburgh – 450 guests, two superb hosts in our own friend and Patron, Grant Stott and TV presenter Catriona Shearer.

The Awards are organised and run by KDMedia led by Kirsten Speirs, ably assisted by Kelly Manthorp.

We had provided some raffle prizes and enjoyed mingling with the guests at the drinks reception, during dinner and later. It was also our first opportunity to show an architect’s impression of our Retreat. Seeing it on the big screen was quite something!

We raised over £7500 on the night which is a terrific boost to our fundraising this year.

On a sweet note I am recovering from a broken wrist and still can’t hold a knife – I tried to just eat the food I could on the plate but the ever attentive Grant noticed and took my plate, cut up all the food and quietly handed it back to me. He is a real gent.

If you’d like to see photos from the night click here.


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.

Blingo 2014

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What?: Blingo

When?: Thursday 15 May 2014  645pm till late

Where?: Roxburghe Hotel, Charlotte Square,  Edinburgh

Fantastic night out – ladies only.

Prizes are incredible and the night is such fun.

this event is provisionally sold out- email now if you’d like your name down on our waiting list  –

Blingo 2013

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There’s a lot of pressure on us organising Blingo.  You see, when an event is in its 8th year and it sells out so fast you need to keep up your standards.

I think we did ok again this year.  (we are almost sold out for 2014 Blingo already so that says something I guess)

We take our events seriously so planning starts a year in advance.  And yes, I am planning 2014 already.

Starts with booking the hotel and agreeing the fee.  I think this time I will go and seek some sponsorship – it is such a great event.

I  have a project plan for the event, lots of clipboards for different roles and a huge amount of ‘stuff’ for Blingo!  There’s the bingo books and pens, the vases, the baskets, the bingo app for the computer.  And oh so much more.  Lives in my attic from one year to the next!  The prizes, oh crumbs, the prizes.  Well we need at least 30 raffle prizes.  6 line prizes.  4 house prizes.  (for non-bingo players line and house prizes are for the bingo games), spot prizes (one per table), auction items and sometimes a special raffle.  So we need to start early on securing prizes.

This year our special prize was a silver necklace and earrings from Hamilton & Inches.  We put numbers on loveheart lipsticks and sweetie watches and sold them for £10 each.  sold 245 of them raising £2450 – pretty good, eh?

This year for first time ever our lovely bingo provider and adviser, Mike, couldn’t come along but did give Susan Stewart and I tuition.  Mind you by the time 7pm came along I was a wee bit nervous about whether we could pull it off on our own!  (our back up plan in case the computer didnt work was to take a bingo game with us – a wee £7 game from Argos!!) Of course my  fears were unfounded – louise was superb as Grant’s assistant (he called her his Debbie McGee) and Grant himself was just amazing doing all three bingo games – first two (sort of) properly and the third game was his bus numbers game.   He was just brilliant.

We arrived at the Roxburghe (now a Crowne Plaza hotel) at 9am and unloaded the cars – that took an hour and by then our other morning volunteers arrived to help.  You can see my stepdaughter Susan putting labels on the water bottles, Tia came along to arrange the flowers and the tiebacks (and she was checking – Susan called her the tieback police).  Tony from Sound and Vision came along  and bless him he set up the laptop for me adding on my powerpoint presentations and made it easy to switch between presentations. And let’s not forget the perks of organising the event – I kinda like the headset mic’s rather than a hand held mic so the Roxburghe team spoil me and get one in every year.

Talking of the Roxburghe team they are more like family.  From Cheryl their events director to Damien who looks after me at the event, the staff are amazing.

Marcello Ventisei is the general manager and he has been so supportive – always comes to see me just before the event to make sure I am happy.  

The food is superb, the service too.  Our prizes were well received and as I said many of the new guests asked to book a table next year as well as lots of the regulars.  When I did my own welcome speech I said that it was so good to see our regulars and just as wonderful to see new guests too and hoped that they would become regulars.

This post would ever so long if I thanked everyone who helped us  so let me be a wee bit general – a huge thanks to prize donors, guests, volunteers, all hotel staff and of course to Grant and Tonya for  hosting the event.   Grant is a brilliant auctioneer and we did well this year too.

Have a look at the photos and if you like the look of Blingo – remember that our East meets West Blingo takes place on Saturday 14 September at the Glasgow Hilton £55pp which covers reception drink, 3 course meal and half bottle wine, 3 games bingo per person. (and we are putting on transport from edinburgh city centre £10pp return)


Our latest Afternoon Tea event

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Yet another wonderful Afternoon tea event today.

The setting of the Castle Suite at the Caledonian – a Waldorf Astoria hotel on Princes Street, Edinburgh is just gorgeous. The room is so so beautiful and lends itself to afternoon tea events so well.

Today was a bit different for us – we had added on £5 to our ticket price because we had as our guest choir – the Edinburgh Military Wives  and they will receive that extra fiver.

Our guests loved listening to the choir – indeed one guest has asked them to sing at her daughter’s wedding!

Here are a few photos from the event –

Immense thanks are due to our Patron, Grant Stott who came along today and hosted the event,  the incredible staff at the Caledonian, the Edinburgh Military Wives choir and of course our generous guests.

The It’s Good 2 Give team on the day was me, co-trustee Marlyn and my stepdaughter Susan.

Afternoon Tea with the Edinburgh Military Wives Choir

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I am so happy to have the Edinburgh Military Wives choir perform at one of our Afternoon Tea events.

Chatting with Gill, their manager I asked her to tell me a little bit about the choir.

Gill told me

‘The choir started in August last year 2012 after the Catterick Military Wives  Choir visited Edinburgh  and did a taster session with us.  We haven’t looked back since then.
We rehearse every Tuesday at Dreghorn Barracks Band block 6.00 – 7.30 pm

The choir consists of a mixture of women who are connected to the Battalions here in Edinburgh  in some way, or to the military through family or jobs which put them in touch with military people.
The different Battalions based here in Edinburgh have all been here from different dates but notably 1 Scots have been here a long time around 10 yrs.
Each battalion has done a tour in Afghanistan which has either preceded or followed the other battalion.

Ages  range from around early 20’s to 50 + and all are welcome from the age of 12 plus.

Our favourite songs to sing  are
You Raise Me Up
Where Ever You Are
Annie’s Song

Our Musical Director is  Finlay Hetherington and the Accompanist is Robert Briggs.”

She also said how much they were looking forward to singing for us all.  Me too! 

Tickets are for sale now  – more information here.