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Highland great-gran (90) praised in Holyrood as she continues her stairway mountain challenge

By Staff Reporter

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Margaret Payne continues with her staircase challenge.
Margaret Payne continues with her staircase challenge.

The efforts of an inspirational 90-year-old Highland woman who has embarked on a charity fundraising staircase challenge during the coronavirus lockdown have been highlighted in the Scottish Parliament.

Margaret Payne is aiming to climb the stairs at her Sutherland home 282 times – the equivalent height of 2398ft high mountain, Suilven – to raise money for the NHS, Highland Hospice and RNLI.

Highlands and Islands Conservative MSP Edward Mountain celebrated her efforts during a Holyrood debate on communities yesterday.

"We should never overlook that Highlanders and Islanders are known, above anyone else in Scotland, for their generosity," he said.

"Take a 90-year-old, Margaret Payne from Ardvar, who is climbing the height of Suilven by negotiating 282 trips up the stairs of her Sutherland home."

Mr Mountain said Mrs Payne had 40 flights of stairs to go before she reached the summit.

He continued: "This is just one of the fundraising initiatives in the Highlands and I would like to pay tribute to all fundraisers.

"I know local charities and trusts are hugely grateful for these funds at a time when their incomes have fallen."

It is not the first time Mrs Payne’s efforts have been recognised at the Scottish Parliament.

In April, Mr Mountain lodged a motion which received cross-party support.

It stated: "That the Parliament congratulates Margaret Payne, who is 90 and from Ardvar, on raising more than £20,000 for the NHS and Highland Hospice; notes that Margaret has set a target of reaching the equivalent of the 2398 ft peak of Suilven by climbing the staircase at her home 282 times over the next two months; notes that she first climbed Suilven in 1944 aged 15 with her sister, and wishes Margaret every success in her endeavours."

To make a donation go to Virginmoneygiving.com/MargaretPayneArdvar-SuilvenChallenge

Related story: Great grandmother hits halfway-point in mountain challenge

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