Special supporters

Friday heroes

Posted by | A Day in the Life of this Fundraiser, Special supporters | No Comments

Everyone needs a hero sometimes and I have two Friday heroes in Steven at our printers, Callprint Edinburgh and Sue in Dunbar. Let’s start with Steven – I had an invite that needed amending and it was very difficult to do to match fonts etc – doesn’t sound like much but it was the fact he really tried to help and I said not to worry about it and I would manage. He came back to me 30mins later to say he had done it! He and Colin at Callprint Edinburgh are a fantastic team and really help us with design and printing – be hard to do all we do without them.

Then Sue messaged me to say she had achieved a staggering amount of support for our Opening of Retreat and the following open days with biscuits and coffee.

They both really made my day with their kindness and going the extra mile to help me. And with the sun shining too it is a fabulous Friday! Busy too (there’s a surprise).

Ian and I have spent several hours working on our Donor Recognition Windows – contacting supporters, adding to the list, making sure names are right. There is a long way to go but we have made a cracking start.

I have been selling again – my sales allow me to buy items for the office so today I am delivering a couple of things I have sold, before delivering collecting cans to a business who is doing a collection for us next week, and that is before I go out for lunch with some of my team. After that I am meeting three Young Ambassadors to get them started on a project for their main event this year – the Young Ambassadors Afternoon Tea (sounds like something you should have Ferrero Rocher chocolates at, doesn’t it?). We are busy working on it already even though the event isn’t until November – I want the YA’s to understand just how much work goes into any event and especially our events. Small groups of YA’s will work on different aspects of the event and this group are working with me and Ambassador Rosie on the general organisation of the event. We shall soon be selling tickets = watch this space!

After dinner I plan a couple of hours of work on the computer to update the donor list then it is time to put feet up and read some magazines.

I have loved this week and am looking forward to a cracking weekend – got a Mindfulness workshop for our YA’s on Sunday and will be paying lots of attention myself!


Thanks to Broughton Removals

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We are very lucky to have two storage units at Broughton Removals in Leith.

Today we took dozens of smaller storage boxes to add to the units. For one awful moment I thought we were going to need a third unit but fortunately the guys helping us were seriously impressive at packing.

Suddenly our garage looks empty!

It’s all progress though. We got several donations today and so I added thank you cards and letters to my to do list for today. Having also done a fair bit of gardening today I’m feeling tired. Good tired. But means I’m doing a short post today.

Enjoy photos from this morning.

[envira-gallery id=”796″]

January Supporter of the Month

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I’m not going to tell you much about my day – suffice to say it was usual juggling way too many balls – didn’t drop any today so that was good.

What I do want to tell you about is this – I decided at the beginning of this year that we should have a wee award for Supporter of the Month – it has turned out to be a real challenge as our supporters are truly amazing. However, Shonagh and I talked about it at length and we both agreed that for January we felt that Eric McKinley should get the certificate. Eric is a fabulous young supporter and he had one of our collecting boxes – as he sold toys and games he no longer used, he popped the money into the box. As he handed it over, he didn’t even know how much he had raised and he and his mum Siri were surprised to find it was £150. Pretty good for someone so young. And very generous to make us the beneficiary of his sales.

On behalf of It’s Good 2 Give I am very proud to have Eric’s support and hope he continues to do such good work in the future for us or any other charity. Well done, Eric!

Edinburgh in the freezing fog

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Our wonderful friends at Edinburgh Spotlight took some amazing photos of Edinburgh in the freezing fog on 21st January and posted their photos – they  had huge interest and our ES friends  said if anyone bought a digital photo for £10 (or more) the money would come to us.

Thank you so much Alison and team at ES. Your support over the years is very much appreciated.


(Please note: Sales are finished for the time being.)


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

Behind the scenes at Longstone Depot

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Quite a long day today and good.  Months ago I was asked to join the panel to choose the next charity of choice for Lothian Buses.  I had loved our partnership and worked hard to make it work.  My reward was to continue having a relationship with the team at LB. I loved our bus very much and miss it still – If I ever win the lottery I would get another bus!

Anyway, today was a day of interviewing 6 charities. I prepared for it carefully yesterday and it was a rewarding, inspiring, informing day. Amazing people doing wonderful work.

The next stage is the staff vote and then in the spring one lucky charity will form a new partnership for two years with Lothian Buses.

It has set me thinking about charity partnerships and that we should be reviewing our own to make sure that everyone is happy. A job for another day this week perhaps?

I was lucky enough to see behind the scenes at the Longstone Depot – ever since we had our bus I have become a bit of a bus fan. So it was fascinating to see the goings on at the depot.

For once though, the long day took its toll and I came home, checked emails, answered several that required immediate action (one was to pay for a toybox for the Retreat – it arrives on Thursday – I can’t wait!) and then was very glad to have my husband cook dinner. I think I have snoozed this evening too – doesn’t happen often but it did tonight.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to my first visit this year up to the site. Hope the snow stays away.


Marlyn Treks the Great Wall

Posted by | event, Fitness, Special supporters | No Comments

Guest Blog post by former Trustee and Company Secretary, Marlyn Minto

“You are completely bonkers” seemed to be the general consensus amongst the wonderful friends who sponsored me when I announced I was going to join the It’s Good 2 Give trek on the Great Wall of China. A year later, standing at the foot of a thousand plus step climb just to get on to the wall, I was tempted to concede they were probably correct.

In my final year as a trustee of the charity I had wanted to undertake a challenge which would test me personally and raise funds towards the Retreat, the building of which was underway. Enthused by the description of the trek by Lisa from Ultimate Challenges at the introductory talk arranged by Lynne, I was the first to sign up.

“You had better get fit” was the cryptic response from partner Ken who promptly appointed himself my personal trainer. The following day, exactly 12 months before setting off found me running up and down our 14 house stairs 8 times at 7am. Too breathless to drink my recuperative cup of tea I pondered the wisdom of my decision. However I gradually increased the stairs adding in cardio tennis, cycling and hill walking. My regime was briefly interrupted by the removal of my gall bladder but my fitness level when I arrived at Glasgow airport for the flight to Beijing was considerably improved. I still felt anxious however about my ability especially as I was, by far, the most senior in the group.

And it proved really difficult – up to 7 hours a day for five days of steep ascents on uneven and crumbling steps, clambering through watchtowers, scrambling through the bush when we left the wall to avoid military zones, crossing narrow ledges, descending at such an angle you had to lean back at 45 degrees, steps, steps, steps and more steps. The scenery was magnificent – for the most part there was not another human in sight and the wall undulated towards the horizon punctuated by watchtowers.

The camaraderie was similarly magnificent everyone looking out for the others, supporting, encouraging and praising. And when we felt it was all too much, the video of young cancer patient Kira, relating how she faced a much greater challenge, moved us to tears, humbled us and renewed our determination to complete the trek. We all did so, including, rather to my astonishment, me. The sense of achievement is enormous; in particular as Lynne tells me the 16 trekkers have raised close to £100000. I am so proud to have contributed to that.

On the Wall there were various discussions as to whether we would undertake future treks. I was quite firm that this was my first and last physical challenge. I hear a rumour however of a trek in Bhutan in 2018 so watch this space. Bonkers indeed!

Footnoteby me (Lynne)

I met Marlyn today for a chat and found out she is super keen on our trek in Bhutan. Marlyn is one of the most travelled people I know but hasn’t been to Bhutan yet and it is on her list of must visit places. I am delighted to be able to give her the chance to visit and raise funds for a charity she loves to bits! We have an information evening on 22 February at the Virgin Lounge, St Andrew Square Edinburgh from 6-8pm – if anyone else wants to find out more about the trek please do get in touch.

If you would like to see some of the photos from the GWChina Trek click to see our Flickr album.