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Look Out Capt. Tom

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

Margaret Payne, 90, from Scotland is latest nonagenarian to raise money for charity.

A 90-year-old woman hopes to climb the equivalent of a Highland mountain by taking repeated trips up and down her stairs, to raise money for the NHS.

Margaret Payne is aiming to become the latest nonagenarian to undertake physical feats in their own home to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic, after 99-year-old Capt Tom Moore raised over £20m by walking 100 laps of his garden. Maybe he could even raise £100m by his 100th birthday...

Payne plans to make 282 trips up the stairs at her home in Ardvar in Sutherland, Scotland, an elevation of 731m (2,398ft), the same as the nearby Suilven mountain. She expects her challenge – which she started on Easter Sunday – to take about two months to complete.

Payne says: 'I first climbed Suilven in 1944 aged 15 with my sister Elizabeth from Glencanisp, Lochinver, during the war. I have now lived in the Highlands for over 40 years and I would like to raise funds to support the NHS in particular at this difficult time and especially in return for the extraordinary support we have received personally at Ardvar. In addition we are giving some support to the Highland Hospice.'

On Thursday 16 April she passed her initial target to raise £10,000 for the NHS and the Highland hospice that looked after her husband, Jim, before his death at Christmas.

By the following afternoon - after the media and, of course, social media discovered what she's up to - she had raised nearly £120,000. (Update Monday evening: £267,000!)

“I wasn’t expecting anything like it – 10,000 thank yous,” she said. “It’s brilliant of them all and I feel the NHS really deserve it. They have been amazing. Each day they are risking their lives.”

If you would like to support Margaret Payne, you can donate via VirginMoneyGiving

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