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Last Updated: Monday, 14 April, 2003, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Second 1m legacy for hospice
Lady Hilda Morton
Lady Hilda had no recent connection to the hospice
A hospice in Scotland has been left its second million pound legacy in less than a year.

Staff at St Columba's, a specialist palliative care unit in Edinburgh, were delighted to hear of the donation from seasoned volunteer and fundraiser Lady Hilda Morton.

The 101-year-old, who died at the beginning of the year, left more than 1m to the hospice which was opened in 1977.

Lady Hilda's boost for coffers comes nine months after a 1m donation from Margaret Scott Haye, a woman in her 90s who lived in the Borders.

Pat Carmichael, promotions and events manager at St Columba's, said: "The donation from Lady Hilda is fantastic.

It is great to have two large donations, but all donations, even very small ones, are vital to our survival
Pat Carmichael
St Columba's Hospice
"It was a complete surprise and particularly so coming soon after a similar legacy.

"Legacies are a very important part of our fundraising efforts. We get 23% funding from the health authority.

"But the bulk of our 4m a year costs have to be paid for by other means.

"It is great to have two large donations, but all donations, even very small ones, are vital to our survival."

Ms Carmichael said Lady Hilda had had no known connection to the hospice in recent years.

Trust volunteer

However, it is understood the former Edinburgh councillor was involved with the unit in its early days.

St Columba's, which cares for people with progressive, far-advanced illnesses, accepts referrals from GPs and hospital consultants.

Lady Hilda's charity work was well documented. She was a volunteer for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) and was a well-known guide at Edinburgh's Georgian House.

When interviewed on her 100th birthday less than two years ago, Lady Hilda said the secret of a long and happy life was to keep busy and "refuse to retire".

She started work as an ambulance driver in World War II, and motoring and volunteering were her life's passions.

Even at the age of 100 she was still driving herself to work at NTS buildings.

Volunteering for a long life
01 Jul 01  |  Scotland

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