A CITY charity set up to provide support for children and young people affected by cancer has reached its goal of raising £1 million to build a respite centre.
It’s Good 2 Give was set up five years ago by Edinburgh’s Citizen of the Year, Lynne McNicoll, and her husband, Ian, with a view to raising £50,000 to allow it to give out packs of essentials for hospital stays to young patients and their parents.
Such has been its success that the charity has since increased its ambitions to build a luxury residential respite centre, named the Ripple Retreat, on the shores of Loch Venachar in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park.
At the time Lynne believed it would take a considerable number of years to complete her vision – but her grassroots fundraising and hard work has paid off as the charity, whose patrons include Dr Who star Peter Capaldi and Olympic medalist Lynsey Sharp, smashed its target.
Lynne, 55, who revealed in January that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, said: “We’re all thrilled, it’s a significant milestone to raise £1m and is something that we can all be proud of, especially when you consider that there was just one large anonymous donation of £100,000, the rest was all small grassroots donations from the people of Edinburgh and the East of Scotland.
“Once built the retreat will be an amazing place for young people with cancer and their families. I now myself understand only too well the need for such a facility.”
Lynne, of Craiglockhart, is currently undergoing chemotherapy, after she discovered a lump in her right breast whilst in the shower.
She said: “I’ve learned first-hand what horrible treatments cancer sufferers and these young people I have been fundraising for must undergo. It’s pretty ironic but I’m determined to beat it.
“I’ve always worked from home anyway so I can keep on with what I do and it’s certainly helped to focus my mind on what I need to get done.”
The three-bedroomed Ripple 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 June, with the facility finished for early next year.
It is hoped that the retreat will allow 40 families and patients to take a break from the trials of treatment and hospital stays each year.
Lynne isn’t content to just rest on her laurels, though, as she has already set herself and the charity a second target of raising £250,000 to kit out and maintain the retreat for two years.
Last year Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi became patron of the charity after it helped the family of 16-year old schoolgirl Millie McLean, who he was introduced to by a relative.
Millie was being treated for a rare form of cancer and they remained in contact until she passed away. The actor said: “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.”