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Book: ‘Give’ Lessons in Giving

I decided that with my own challenges through the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact that had on my business and livelihood that I needed to get some outside support.

In my own position as a Coach, I always advocate that if you can’t afford help form a Coach or Mentor, either find someone who is willing to help you without charge (through a mentoring programme or ask for help) or learn in other ways from others who you admire and respect. Youtube is great as it’s free, books and ebooks from the library are a great resource at no costs… while I like to buy books and attend as many courses as I can afford, as I really value my own learning.

I also believe that ‘Coaches’ need to at least learn and grow most of the time, they don’t need to be perfect, they are human, and of course, they do make mistakes like you and me… but they should look outside for support often, form experienced coaches, mentors and resources (like books).

Since I was in my late teens, I have read as much as I could to improve my own literacy skills, after leaving school with a poor level of reading (another story for another time).

With young kids at home, a full-time job and running a small business (to keep the scary wolves from the door), life’s busy. The thought of reading a book real paper fills me with a sense of guilt, excitement (sounds nuts I know) and disbelief (when on earth will I get two minutes to sit and read without falling asleep?).

So, my audiobooks from audible help me squeeze in books when I’m busy, today I was working away doing DIY in the garden, in the lovely Scottish weather (teaming with rain), listening to my audiobook.

Magnus Macfarlane-Barrow of Mary’s Meals has written a great book ‘Give‘, which has helped me reconnect and think deeply about my past roles within and for charities and social enterprises in my career over the last 20 or so years.

It’s a book that’s challenging my thinking behind giving, charity, International Development and philanthropy. Helping me to understand the single minded approach of Mary’s Meals, which answers a questions that I had held and never realised I had, why don’t they do other things to help the people most in need, for example in a place of devastating poverty, can they help the environment as well.

If you have any experience of donating to charity, working for one, volunteering, want to run one or are thinking about how you might contribute to others lives more, then I highly recommend you read this book… it has very much shifted my thinking and prompted me to take action and set up a small campaign to help feed a small number of children for a year.

I’ve worked with some amazing people in Charities and Community Organisations based here in the West of Scotland. So many lessons learned from people who have supported me, mentors (from the private and social sectors), managers in social housing, team members and peers within environmental charities and social enterprise, health and wellbeing charities, community choirs, NHS staff… the list goes on.

Not all of my experiences have been good, a few stand out as total roasters, with people and organisations that will implode and take the services they deliver with them… while most of my experiences have been positive. The book ‘Give‘ really helped me soul search, forgive poor behaviour and recall amazing experiences that I had in the sector for many years.

You can gain your own lessons from the hardback, paperback or audiobook, which I got from Amazon this time, party as I have not been in a book shop for ages due to COVID and not being in the local shopping centre much at all. Any proceeds that are made from this page will be donated to Mary’s Meals as part of a small campaign that I decided to do to help raise funds for Mary’s Meals.


You can’t help by like the simplicity of the message from Mary’s Meals. Which I will be applying this small campaign. Every £15 that is raised helps to feed a child in extreme poverty for a year.

Let’s see how it goes, and where it leads me and my business. I feel a strong urge to use my Coaching and career skills to help people most in need as well as tackle climate change, so for the next wee while I’ll focus more on that.

Please share this post, your thoughts and #give

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