Margaret Payne: highland heroine who raised £435k dies aged 93

Ms Payne, of Ardvar, Sutherland, raised £436,000 after scaling the height of the 731-metre Suilven on her staircase
The remarkable Margaret Payne on the stairs of her home in Ardvar, Sutherland. Picture: PA WireThe remarkable Margaret Payne on the stairs of her home in Ardvar, Sutherland. Picture: PA Wire
The remarkable Margaret Payne on the stairs of her home in Ardvar, Sutherland. Picture: PA Wire

Margaret Payne, who raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for good causes during lockdown by climbing the equivalent of a mountain on her stairs at home, has died aged 93.

Ms Payne, of Ardvar, Sutherland, raised £436,000 for NHS Highland, the Highland Hospice and the RNLI after scaling the height of the 731-metre Suilven on her staircase. She drew inspiration to complete the challenge from Captain Sir Tom Moore, who raised more than £33 million for the NHS by walking laps of his garden.

She received a British Empire Medal for services to the community in Lochinver, which she described as “a great honour”, and received a letter of congratulations from the then-Prince of Wales.

Paying tribute, a spokesperson for Highland Hospice said: “It is with great sadness we note the passing of Margaret Payne yesterday evening. During those first few months of Covid in the spring of 2020, then 90-year-old Margaret climbed the height of Suilven on her stairs raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity and capturing people’s hearts.

“Margaret was a lockdown legend, but her long and extraordinary life took in so much more. We will be forever grateful to her and her late husband Jim for their support and our thoughts are with Nicky McArthur and all her family at this time. Keep climbing Margaret.”

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