Sunday, 24 February 2008 00:00

Royal Bank of Scotland Chairman’s Awards(RBS International Award for Fundraising)

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Hello, all our Calum’s Cabin followers and supporters.

I know that I say this many times, but this week, I really don’t know where to start!!

As you read last week, STV, came to visit us, and the film which was made was lovely, it was broadcast on Friday at various times throughout the day, and anyone who didn’t manage to see it, but would still like to catch it, can watch it at www.stv.tv/content/news/main/display, or you can also view it by going into google and typing in Calum Speirs and linking into the site that way. This has really allowed “Calum’s Cabin” to be a household name, and has hopefully reached many homes that in the future we can help. As well that is, hopefully businesses who could help us in any way, i.e. with building materials, interior designers, carpet suppliers, landscape designers, anyone would be wonderful. If you don’t ask, then you don’t get!!!

Wednesday, saw us having a telephone meeting with the Daily Record, again, hopefully this should be published this coming week, and should have the same effects as STV did, in passing on the word, and promoting the name of “Calum’s Cabin”.

Thursday………well…….I am still in shock. I arrived in Edinburgh just after lunchtime. Thursday was the 21st, a year to the day since our precious sons’ service and when we began our next journey and chapter, that of fundraising for “Calum’s Caravan”, to keep Calums memory alive and help others at the same time. It is truely amazing that a year ago, we were hoping to raise £20,000 to purchase a caravan, and then once we realised that, that was going to happen relatively quickly, and that we could perhaps raise £90,000 to purchase a Cabin,which could be purpose built to suit all our guests needs, then “hey” we thought, lets go for it; but really in the background, we had this hope that we could build “Calum’s Cabin” somewhere special , somewhere the families could have time to themselves, to reflect and to be together as one, and now we are in excess of £250,000 and in the process of building a cabin, at the Straad, it is amazing what can be achieved if we all work together and put our minds to it. Thank you to everyone for this achievement, you all deserve a big pat on the back, and all have played a part in forming the jigsaw of “Calum’s Cabin”, and the biggest thank you of all must go to the major driver of this….Calum himself, because, without Calum and Calum’s dream and focus we would not be the people that we have become today. Thanks Cally.

Right, so back to Thursday, the photographer from the Daily Record arrived to take photographs, and perhaps I should have smelt a rat!!! at that point, but really I just thought that all the finalists had had interviews with a local papers and with their local television stations, how wrong I was. Anyway, I arrived at the awards ceremony, and it was a very inspiration and emotional evening, there are so many wonderful people in this world spending their own time, doing tireless work for many charities and organisations, and each and every person that was present on Thursday night, was a winner. The funny thing about it all, is truely, I don’t see myself as one of them, we are only doing what we feel is right, to help others, and it has given us a focus to carry on. Anyway, “Calum’s Cabin”, won the award for “newcomer”, which for someone who has been in the bank for 20 years, seems strange, but this is a newcomer to fundraising!!!! Then once all the seven finalists had been announced, they showed video footage of all the work that been done by us all, this was heartbreaking, seeing so many wee faces that the other finalists had helped and how they had achieved their goal. They showed, us fundraising and the Straad, and then they had a couple of personal interviews, this was really hard, because, I knew none of this had been happening when RBTV had come to the island!!! Horrors!!! Then Sir Tom McKillop. Chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland announced the overall winner for “The Chairman’s Award for Community Excellence” or otherwise known as “The International Award for Fundraising”, and it was “Calum’s Cabin”, wow, we got a standing ovation, and all I could think about was how proud I am sure Calum would have been. The trophy is amazing, it is such an honour, we are just totally and utterly gobsmacked (that is the only word, I can use), and the profile of “Calum’s Cabin”, well that has been raised to a level, that we could never have envisaged. I would like to thank everyone who supported me on Thursday Evening, there are so many to thank, that I daren’t begin to mention a few names, because I would surely miss someone out, so you all know who you are, from the staff who organised the evening, the film crew,everyone whom I met, the “carriers” of my trophies, all the people who were “in” on the secret of my winnning, really just everyone…..THANKYOU. I met a lot of truely amazing individuals, and persons, whom I normally just see on RBTV!!! (Sir Tom McKillop and Sir Fred Goodwin). Thank you for all your kind words and support, thank you really isn’t enough to say, I am truely amazed by it all.

Back down to earth, and the fund raising, still goes on!! Wednesday 19th March is the date that has been provisionally set for a whist drive, more details in the coming weeks. Also for you folks who have started to train again, the Calum Speirs fun run has been pencilled in for 15th June, and the triathlon, for the “Calum Speirs” trophy will be held on March 30th. Again more details of these events will follow in the coming weeks.

The plans have been drawn for the cabin, we still have to see them on hard copy and speak to the architect, then they will go to Lord Bute for approval, before they go to Planning Department.

We are in talks with another family, so hopefully within the next few weeks family number two will be arriving,and enjoying all that Bute holds for them.

Thanks again to everyone for this week and for all your support in the past year.

p.s. The trophies will be in The Royal Bank of Scotland, from Monday 25th February if you would like to come in and see them, they belong to us all.

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