Derbyshire charity hails first million pound supporter after legacy donation
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Youth hostel operator YHA received £453,550 from the estate of Dr Graham Pink following the sale of his home and personal effects, as requested in his will.
Dr Pink died in March 2021, aged 91, survived by 14 nieces and nephews, and this final act brought his total donations to £1,049,550.
YHA chief executive James Blake said: “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.”
Dr Pink’s first youth hostel visit was a holiday with his parents. He continued to use them on walking and cycling breaks throughout his life, and with the Scout and school groups he worked with.
His medical career began in the Royal Navy, but after qualifying as a nurse he spent many years as a well-respected English teacher in his home city, Manchester.
After taking early retirement, he returned to nursing and, in 1990, made headlines as a whistleblower, publicly highlighting inadequate care on the geriatric wards where he worked. He came to be seen as a standard-bearer for the profession.
His YHA donations helped fund several major projects, beginning with a £100,000 gift for the refurbishment of YHA Keswick 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 help give today's youngsters the same opportunity.”
The final gift was presented to YHA b y Dr Pink’s niece Sarah Pink at Boggle Hole hostel near Whitby, where her uncle helped fund a new accommodation annex in 2015.
Sarah said: “To us he was just Uncle Graham. He never made a big deal about his donations. To see the difference they have made to so many young people and their families is just remarkable.
“After seeing the hostel, meeting the staff and some of the children staying there, I absolutely understand hi s passion for YHA.”