Prince Charles congratulates 90-year-old Margaret Payne for raising more than £340,000 for charity by climbing stairs

Prince of Wales describes how “inspiring” he has found Margaret Payne’s fundraising efforts

Sabrina Barr
Saturday 13 June 2020 16:53
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The Prince of Wales has congratulated a 90-year-old woman who raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity by climbing the height of Suilven mountain on her stairs.

In April, Margaret Payne, from Ardvar, Sutherland, embarked on a challenge to scale the equivalent of the 2,398ft-high Scottish mountain by doing 282 trips of her staircase.

Ms Payne, who has lived in the highlands for more than 40 years, set herself a target of raising £10,000 for charity, with money being donated to the NHS, the Highland Hospice and the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution).

Over the past two months, the nonagenarian has raised more than £340,000, following in the footsteps of Captain Tom Moore.

With just 30 trips of her stairs left to go, Mrs Payne received a letter of support from Prince Charles.

In the letter, Prince Charles wrote that he and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall wanted to add to what they suspect is “a very large number of messages of support by saying how inspiring it has been to witness the huge success” of Ms Payne’s fundraiser.

“These past few months have seen our country face immense challenges. Many people are grieving the tragic loss of their loved ones,” the royal said.

“The marvellous community spirit, for which Scotland is so renowned, has never been so much in evidence as people across our society have gone the extra mile, have put others first and have sacrificed their own comfort for the common good.”

The Duke of Rothesay, as he is known in Scotland, described Ms Payne as a “heroine” for raising such a significant sum for charity.

Margaret Payne on the stairs of her home in Ardvar, Sutherland

Referring to the “community spirit” in Scotland, the 71-year-old said: “There could hardly be a better example of this indomitable spirit than your own magnificent efforts in raising money for vital charities.

“It is people like yourself who show that, for every hardship there has been a hero – or, or course, a heroine...”

Prince Charles concluded his letter by writing that “in great admiration” of Ms Payne’s “incredible efforts”, he and the Duchess of Cornwall send their “warmest congratulations”.

Speaking to the PA news agency, Ms Payne said she was “so surprised and absolutely delighted” to receive the handwritten letter from Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Ms Payne previously told the PA news agency she feels “completely overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity of everyone who has donated to this amazing cause”.

“I feel so humbled by their kind words, and everyone’s generosity and ongoing support throughout my marathon challenge,” she said.

“It has given me the enthusiasm to keep going over the past 10 weeks, and will spur me on to reach the summit.”

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