A charity has scored a major goal towards its £4.5million bid to upgrade a -much-loved and needed hospice in the Highlands – after being donated half a million shares in Inverness Caledonian Football Club, the current Scottish Cup holders.
Highland Hospice has instantly become the second largest shareholder of the club following the gift from a mystery family.
The charity now intends to sell of the 573,950 shares donated to them to push forward its appeal for funds towards building a new inpatient unit in Inverness and upgrading its existing centre.
Andrew Leaver, head of fundraising at Highland Hospice, said: “It is an incredible generous donation.
“We have been fundraising for three years now and are close to reaching the £4.5million goal. We are just around £940,000 short and this will hopefully provide a much-needed boost towards getting to that target.
“We don’t intend getting involved in the decision-making at Inverness Caledonian Thistle, leaving that in the capable hands of manager John Hughes and chairman Kenny Cameron, who are both doing a brilliant job on and off the park.
“Our appeal committee spoke to people to support and one one of those conversations led to this donation from a supportive family-owned business who wish to remain anonymous.”
The shares are among three million originally bought at £1 each. They are not publicly-listed shares, so their present-day worth are unknown.
Mr Leaver added: “I have been fundraising for 20 years and I have never experienced anything of this. It is a very unique donation.
“It is a strange but privileged position for Highland Hospice to be a major shareholder in a Premier League football club.
“But our intention is to sell them to raise further money towards the appeal. We are now hoping someone will come forward with an offer to buy the shares.
“They are worth whatever somebody is prepared to pay for them. It might be a first-time buyer who would be purchasing a fifth of the club and become the second-largest shareholder of the club, or an existing shareholder wishing to add to their shares.
“We are not looking to broker anything. We are looking to make the best value we can to support patients and their families.”
The Highland Hospice provides much-needed care, respite and support to families throughout the region.
The new hospice building is expected to open next October and will provide a modern inpatient unit, along with increased physiotherapy, occupational therapy and bereavement support facilities.
There will be nine single bedrooms and one shared room, as well as family accommodation for family members, and three counselling rooms.