Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi is the new patron of one of the city’s smallest charities after being inspired by its work through 16-year-old Millie McLean – who died from cancer last month.
The actor has given his backing to the It’s Good 2 Give charity, which is run by Edinburgh’s Citizen of the Year Lynne McNicoll.
In his role he will help it to fundraise the £1 million it needs to build a retreat for children and young people affected by cancer.
He said he had been motivated to get involved after witnessing the charity’s hands-on approach in supporting families dealing with cancer and its ambitious project to build a luxury residential “Ripple Retreat” next year.
Capaldi, who starred in The Thick Of It and has recently finished a world-wide tour promoting Dr Who, said: “I was introduced to It’s Good 2 Give after the charity had helped a family I know. I was hugely impressed by their approach and ambition.
“By spreading the word I hope to help them raise the funds they need. It really is Good 2 Give, please help them by giving what you can.”
Capaldi met Millie, a Craigmount High pupil, when she was battling a rare cancer, alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. She was diagnosed with the condition when she was 14 and her family was supported through her treatment by It’s Good 2 Give.
When the family took a break to London, a relative surprised Millie by introducing her to Capaldi, who continued to keep in touch with her and her family.
Ms McNicoll, the charity’s co-founder, said: “You can’t imagine how excited we are to have the support of Peter. We are at a critical stage in our fundraising and desperately need to reach out to people who are keen to support everyday families who are battling with the emotional and physical challenges of caring for a child who is seriously ill.”
“It is always difficult to imagine what it is like to have a child suffer cancer but the McLean family are grateful to everyone who helped the family during a very difficult time. They are strong supporters of It’s Good 2 Give and we would like to thank them, and Millie, for their generous contribution and support.”
The charity will soon launch its campaign – The Ripple Retreat Appeal – to build a home in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
The three-bedroomed retreat has been designed by award-winning international architect Tony Kettle – the designer of the Falkirk Wheel – on land gifted to the charity. Work is expected to begin in the spring.
The retreat will allow families and patients to take a break from the trials of treatment and hospital stays.
Ms McNicoll took the plunge to start her own charity in 2010 with a modest target to raise £50,000 to mark her 50th birthday. In four years, she has raised more than £750,000.