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The Matlock-based charity YHA (England & Wales) has celebrated its first million-pound donor.


Dr Graham Pink, a long-time supporter of the youth hostels charity left a final donation of £453,550 to YHA in his will. The donation brought the total donated to YHA by Dr Pink to £1,049,550 since 2005. The revered former nurse and teacher, who died on 6 March 2021,

Generated from the sale of his home and personal effects, Dr Pink’s final donation fulfilled his ambition to donate a total of £1million to enable youngsters of today to enjoy youth hostels in the way he once had.

Dr Pink regularly used youth hostels. His first experience of a youth hostel was on a family holiday with his parents, and he continued to use them throughout his life when walking, cycling and staying in them with Scout and school groups.

During his lifetime, his donations to YHA helped fund major refurbishments of youth hostels. Donating £100,000 to the refurbishment of YHA Keswick in the Lake District in 2005. At the time he said: "As a youngster, some of my happiest times were spent in youth hostels and I'm delighted to be able to help to give today's youngsters the same opportunity.”

Dr Pink was a medic during National Service and later a well-respected English teacher in Manchester before retirement from education when he returned to nursing. He rose to prominence in 1990 when he publicly highlighted the inadequate care and staffing levels when he was a charge nurse caring for the elderly. His pursuit of “decent care” made him a standard-bearer for properly resourced nursing.

The final donation was presented to YHA by Dr Pink’s niece Sarah Pink at YHA Boggle Hole near Whitby, where her uncle helped fund the construction of a new accommodation annex in 2015.

Visiting the youth hostel for the first time, where she met with YHA Chief Executive James Blake and Chair Margaret Hart, Sarah Pink said: “To us he was just Uncle Graham, and he never made a big deal about his donations to YHA. To see the difference his donations have made to so many young people and their families is just remarkable. After seeing the youth hostel, meeting the staff and some of the school children staying there, I absolutely understand his passion for YHA. I want to go back and stay with my grandchildren.”

James Blake added: “Dr Pink was a very unassuming man who shied away from any publicity around his donations. I hope, however, that he knew how grateful we were and of the very real difference his money has made and will continue to make to the thousands of young people who stay with YHA every year.

“It is through charitable donations and legacies made in wills, like that of Graham Pink’s, that we can ensure our network continues to be upgraded, allowing us to achieve our aim of reaching young people who need us the most and giving them life changing experiences in the outdoors.”

The gifts in wills that YHA receives make a significant difference to the charity, helping it fund education residentials, breaks for low income families, community outreach and work experience placement as well maintain historically significant properties for future generations.

To discover more about leaving a gift in your will to YHA (England & Wales) visit https://get involved.yha.org.uk/donate/gifts-in-wills/

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