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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Chief Encounters: Lynne McNicoll of It’s Good 2 Give

This feature is almost 8 years old

Lynne McNicoll has raised £1m to create a Highland retreat for kids with cancer, but coming down Kilimanjaro has been her biggest challenge yet

Lynne McNicoll | co-founder, chair and director of Fundraising

It’s Good 2 Give!

What time do get up and what’s your morning routine?

I usually get up around 6.30am but at the moment I am going through chemo treatment for breast cancer so I just let myself wake naturally – it’s mostly still around that time though!

What is your perfect weekend?

A perfect normal (as opposed to the temporary not so normal life I have at the moment) would see me going with hubby to Ristorante Contini in George Street, Edinburgh for a perfect breakfast and cappuccino, read the papers then do some window shopping! Saturday afternoon is usually doing some It’s Good 2 Give work (because I want to not because I need to). A perfect Sunday would include a walk somewhere around Edinburgh – there is so much choice but a favourite is walking in Craiglockhart Dell.

What was the last thing you did that scared you?

Climbed Kilimanjaro! We had 31 of us climbing it for It’s Good 2 Give and the climb up was bad enough. I got altitude sickness on day three, so with another trekker had to come down early and we had one guide with us – the climb down was terrifying for me! Far harder than going up. I wanted to curl up in a corner somewhere and wait to be rescued but had to just get on with clambering down rocks far taller than me and holding onto tree trunks to slither down, hoping there wasn’t anything on that tree trunk to bite me. I was well scared! But I thought of the children and young people fighting cancer and knew that was far scarier than what I was doing.

Lynne McNicoll

I thought of the children and young people fighting cancer and knew that was far scarier than what I was doing.

Lynne McNicoll

What’s your favourite film?

There are so many but I adore The Polar Express!

What advice would you give to your 22-year-old self?

Life is short (no matter how old you live to) – have fun, work hard, love fully and volunteer.

Is lunch a five-minute sandwich at your desk or do you find time for yourself?

I used to be the five minute sandwich girl but this year has changed all that. My husband is retired now and works with me on our charity and The Ripple Retreat, which we are building in the Trossachs (see picture). Since my cancer diagnosis in January, he has become my chef so it is a house rule to sit down and eat lunch together at the table.

What do you procrastinate over?

It’s not that easy procrastinating when there is only you to do the admin jobs but I do find myself moving tougher jobs from one day’s to do list to the next and sometimes the next. Things like filing – not my favourite job. Again, though, with a retired husband who likes to see an empty filing basket it has become easier when we do it together.

You’re home, fully fed with your feet up – which comes first Eastenders or emails?

I work from home so it is always emails first! If it’s feet up time then it’s iPad time.

Is this a step on the rung to success or your final destination?

This is my dream and we are close to realising it. I have been a volunteer fundraiser now for over nine years and running my own charity for five and it is just perfection for me. We aim to start building the Ripple Retreat in June and have it open for families to go on holiday to in 2016 and from then on it will be maintaining it to the high standards we will build it to and continuing with our day to day support of young cancer patients and their families.

Was this week’s general election the most or least exciting ever?

Least exciting for me. I found it too negative a campaign

Why do you work in the third sector?

I volunteer in the third sector and love it – so much so that I have just created our Young Ambassador’s Club – a club for (this year) 20 young people aged 5-20 who will learn about running a small charity, organising fundraising events, public speaking, volunteering, presentation skills and get hands on experience at events I organise. This group had their first chance to help last week at one of my events and they loved it! I want to encourage young people to try volunteering by showing them it can be fun and rewarding.

What’s your favourite - Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?

I love Facebook and Twitter and use LinkedIn but not as good at it as the first two!

Are boards the strength of the third sector or a thorn in its side?

Well, for us a well-chosen board is our strength. We talk about our plans and how we are going to execute them and work together to do so. I feel very lucky to have a board like ours.

Brian Denis Cox (actor) or Brian Edward Cox (scientist)?

Brian Edward please though either would be a fascinating dinner companion

It's Good 2 Give still has £250,000 to raise for the Ripple Project. It's patron Doctor Who actor Peter Capaldi's recently releaseda video message explaining why it's important to back the project.



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