John Gibson: Val’s having a ball for a worthy cause

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Nobody doess it better. Not to my knowledge. Val Simpson, below, reckons CCLASP has raised half a million a year and this is the charity’s 20th anniversary. She’s the founder and she’ll be having a ball a week tomorrow night.

Says Val: “Next Friday is the big one. We’ve sold 20 tables for the black tie evening at Prestonfield House – champagne on arrival from seven – and we hope to sell another ten. We are contactable in Edinburgh at 467 7420.”

Managing director Val is one of five full-time paid staff, the rest are volunteers. The charity is responsible for three holiday homes – in Berwick upon Tweed, Seton Sands and Perthshire. CCLASP also runs a mini bus.

I unfailingly have to be reminded what CCLASP stands for and Val spells it out for me: Children with Cancer and Leukaemia Advice and Support for Parents.


It’s been falling apart, Looking more like a festering pile by the day. Green stuff peeking from the nooks and crannies. Formerly Edinburgh’s iconic GPO.

So I’m happy, nay relieved, to see scaffolders swarming all over it. Careful, lads!

Preaching PM

Praise the Lord. Louche in Lanzarote, the Prime Minister appears (in his customary holiday clobber) to have found religion. Again. Maybe the Good Book has been part of his psyche all the while.

Cameron without a blush is preaching: “Jesus invented the Big Society 2000 years ago. I just want to see more of it and encourage as much of it as possible.” He was in Elmer Gantry mode.