Lynne McNicoll is an extraodinary woman living in Edinburgh. She is currently Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year for Scotland 2009 after raising £650,00 to date for Teenage Cancer Trust. This money has helped create a temporary children’s cancer unit at the Sick Kids’ Hospital in Edinburgh. Lynne has started 2010 by launching the new fundraising initiative It’s Good 2 Give.
She has trekked across the Saharan desert and hiked through the Himalayas to raise money and the next event on the horizon is a climb to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.
I had the pleasure of talking to Lynne over a cup of tea one afternoon and discussed her future plans for the charity. One thing that becomes very clear from the start is that Lynne is a warm and friendly woman, yet very determined to reach her goal, no matter what activity she has to do to raise the money.
Along with her husband Ian, one of Lynne’s first goals raise £1 million to create a holiday home for families affected by cancer to have a break during and after treatment. The house would be purpose-built for families to spend a week together, allowing them to have some respite time. Possible locations are in the East Lothian area making it accessible from Edinburgh but feel like a holiday away from hospitals and treatments.
Lynne decided on the eve of her 50th birthday that she could make a difference and has been a raising-money-machine ever since. Her whole family are involved in the cause, with her husband booking in at events so he can spend some time with her!
She lives a modest lifestyle, with every spare penny going to the charity. Lynne explains “my grandkids know that they forego Christmas presents so that the money can go to help others”. Lynne also plays the lottery on a weekly basis, with the hope that she wins to make the dream of reaching her target quicker.
Lynne has been holding events all over the city to help raise money and following a very successful afternoon tea held last month, two further ones have been scheduled. Earlier this week saw Lynne hold a charity screening of the film Grease at the Dominion Theatre and for the third year running, ‘Blingo’ will be back at the Roxburgh, hosted by Edinburgh Spotlight favourite, Grant Stott.
September will see Lynne take part in a fund raising event every day. “I really encourage anyone to do even just one event to experience the sense of achievement and good feeling of helping others”.
Her next big trip will be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Spring 2011 and is looking for local people to join her in the amazing journey whilst raising money. Anyone is welcome to join her on the trek, but Lynne says ” it would be great to have local people to train with so we get to know each other and support one another before the big climb”. Having climbed the tallest African mountain myself, I can confirm that it is no easy feat.
Lynne inspired me so much in the short time that I spent with her, alongside much laughter, I signed up to help with her events and promotion whenever possible. I have every confidence in Lynne reaching this financial goal and dreams of a respite house, but know she won’t stop there – another goal will be set and surpassed. We hugged goodbye and left me with the feeling that it really is good to give.
If you can offer Lynne any help at all with events, admin work, contacts or donations – please drop her an email , she would love to hear from you.