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Donations have been ‘amazing’ says OAP in fundraising ‘mountain climb’

Margaret Payne said she was inspired by 99-year-old Captain Tom Moore.

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Margaret Payne predicts it will take until the end of June to climb the height of the mountain (PA)

Margaret Payne predicts it will take until the end of June to climb the height of the mountain (PA)

Margaret Payne predicts it will take until the end of June to climb the height of the mountain (PA)

A 90-year-old woman raising money by climbing the stairs in her home has said the amount of money raised has been “amazing” as donations surge past £200,000.

Margaret Payne, from Ardvar, Sutherland, was inspired by 99-year-old Captain Tom Moore, who has raised more than £20 million for the NHS.

The 90-year-old pledged to climb the height of Suilven, which is expected to require 282 trips up the stairs.

It's been amazing, I can't really believe it's trueMargaret Payne

Mrs Payne told BBC Breakfast: “It’s been amazing, I can’t really believe it’s true.”

Her daughter Nicky McArthur, who is staying with her mother during the lockdown period, said the generosity shown was “extraordinary”.

Mrs Payne also said her reasons for stepping up and raising funds for the health service were threefold.

She said: “(Captain) Tom partly – I think it’s amazing what he’s achieved.

“My husband died at Christmas time, with us here in the house, and he was looked after so well by the National Health Service, it’s by way of a little thank you.”

Mrs Payne added: “It’s also for all our nursing staff, the doctors and the nurses, it’s a thank you for that.”

Mrs Payne also said it was a “disgrace that we weren’t more prepared” for the coronavirus outbreak.

Including gift aid, Mrs Payne had raised more than £211,000 for the health service in her climb, as of Saturday morning.

She added that she expects the 282 trips up the stairs to take her until the end of June to complete.

To donate to Mrs Payne’s challenge, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MargaretPayneArdvar-SuilvenChallenge.

PA