Award-winning city volunteer takes next step to start charity

SHE has helped raise £600,000, was the driving force behind the creation of a children's cancer unit at the Sick Kids' Hospital and has been named Scottish volunteer fundraiser of the year.

Now, Lynne McNicoll is taking her altruism to the next level – by creating her own charity to help children and families affected by cancer.

Along with her husband Ian, Mrs McNicoll launched the It's Good 2 Give! charity on 1 January – and the couple already have an ambitious target.

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One of their first goals is to create a "holiday home" for families affected by cancer to have a break together during and after treatment. The house would be purpose-built – with possible locations including North Berwick or Dunbar – for families to spend a week together, allowing them to have some respite time.

Mrs McNicoll, from Craiglockhart, started fundraising four years ago to mark her 50th birthday. Since then, she has led a massive fundraising drive for the Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) which is going towards the creation of a new specialist cancer unit for young people at the Western General Hospital and her efforts have already led to the opening of a temporary cancer unit for children at the Sick Kids.

As well as recently being named the Institute of Fundraising's Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year Scotland, Mrs McNicoll was also made Scottish ambassador for the TCT earlier this year.

She said: "As well as continuing to work with Teenage Cancer Trust, a charity I will always hold dear to my heart, Ian and I have decided to start our own charity to help local families and to encourage people in the East of Scotland to give in lots of different ways – it doesn't always have to be money that is given.

"Time, skills and ideas are good to give – after all, investing those will bring us money."

Another hope the couple have for the charity is to get local young people involved in fundraising and they have already decided to set up the It's Good 2 Give! awards for under 18s.

They also plan to approach companies to ask them to let staff have time off to volunteer for the charity.

Mr McNicoll, who has been by his wife's side during all her fundraising activities over the years, said: "Lynne's fundraising achievements to date have made a huge difference.

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"I am very proud of her and knew when she started this journey four years ago I would get involved in some small way.

"We have, of course, enjoyed tremendous support in reaching our goals and we are very grateful to the many friends and colleagues who worked so hard to raise over 600,000.

"However, we can widen the scope of what we do through the new charity. It is important to us that our time continues to be given on a voluntary basis as this will allow more of the funds raised to go directly to help with our new objectives."