Woman, 90, raising money by climbing stairs passes halfway point of ‘mountain’ challenge – Evening Standard

Woman, 90, raising money by climbing stairs passes halfway point of ‘mountain’ challenge – Evening Standard

A 90-year-old woman raising money for health and emergency services by climbing the height of a mountain on her stairs has said she is looking forward to a “good rest at the summit”.

Margaret Payne, from Ardvar, Sutherland in the Scottish Highlands, has pledged to climb the height of Suilven, a 731m (2,398ft) mountain in Sutherland,

The challenge will require 282 trips up the flight of stairs, which contains 17 steps.

She was inspired by 100-year-old Captain Tom Moore raising almost £33million for the NHS by walking laps of his garden during the coronavirus pandemic.

She started on Easter Sunday, and has now reached the halfway point, after completing 141 flights and climbing 365m (1,199ft) – and raising more than £325,000 – smashing her £10,000 fundraising target by more than 30 times.

“I have definitely become a bit quicker, which must mean I am a bit stronger,” she said.

“But I have to pace myself because my knees ache.

“The response has been absolutely wonderful, the amount of money we have had donated has been incredible.”

She added “I am completely overwhelmed and humbled by the generosity of everyone who has donated to this amazing cause.

“I would like to thank each and every one for their heart-warming messages of support and generous donations, which are providing greatly appreciated encouragement as I slowly but surely make my way up the mountain.

“I am very much looking forward to enjoying a good rest at the summit, and celebrating with my family and chosen charities.”

She has already raised more than £325,000 for the NHS, Highland Hospice and RNLI.

Suilven is the only mountain Mrs Payne has ever climbed, as she has had persistent knee problems throughout her life.

She first reached the summit in 1944 aged 15, with her sister Elizabeth, two friends and dog Snowy, after she was evacuated to Lochinver during the Second World War.

Additional reporting by PA news agency