Lynne’s new challenge to fund cancer respite site

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A serial fundraiser is set to defy the odds by raising £20,000 a week for more than a month to build a specialist cancer respite home.

Lynne McNicoll, the founder and chair of It’s Good 2 Give, a charity that provides support for young people affected by cancer and their families, is attempting to raise a total of £100,000 over a five-week period.

Mrs McNicoll has previously trekked the Sahara and scaled Mount Kilimanjaro, raising £1.3 million for charity in the last eight years.

This latest challenge will feature a variety of events, starting with “Spring Blingo” on May 15 – a ladies-only bingo and dinner evening at the Roxburghe Hotel in Charlotte Square hosted by broadcaster Grant Stott.

“Grant is the only man allowed in the room – he loves it,” Mrs McNicoll said.

“There are 290 women coming and the event has sold out already.”

Other events include a fashion night and a family fun day, though Mrs McNicoll says she is still on the look-out for more quirky ideas to raise cash.

And she isn’t worried about the daunting five-week challenge ahead.

She said: “You have to have belief. Belief in what you are doing is a huge part of it.”

All the money raised will go towards building a purpose-built respite house for the families of young people affected by cancer, where they can go to spend time together during or after treatment.

Mrs McNicoll said: “The house will be a place where one family at a time can go and spend time together. I hesitate to call it a holiday, because treatment will still be going on, but it’s somewhere where they can go.”

This new stunt is just the latest in a long line for the champion fundraiser, who explained: “I just like challenging myself, I’m a bit daft that way.”

The 57-year-old began charity work when she was 49 after feeling “gratitude” that she was about to turn 50.

She decided to raise money for cancer charities after reading an article about young people with cancer and finding it surprising so many were affected by the disease.

“I only meant to do it for a year, then once I met families and heard their stories I just had to continue,” she said.

“I had been fundraising for years for Teenage Cancer Trust and during that time I got to know many families with young people affected by cancer, and it just got to the point where I thought we should set up our own charity.”

But despite completing several hair-raising stunts and planning an Arctic trek for 2015, she said the scariest thing she has ever done took place much closer to home – zip-sliding across the Clyde in 2009.

“I’m terrified of heights and that was the most terrifying thing I have ever done in my life,” she said.

Her exploits have won her much praise.

Grant Stott said: “I think she is an absolutely remarkable woman, not just for this particular challenge but all the challenges she has been running over the years.”