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Highland Hospice staff treated to afternoon tea at Drumossie Hotel as a thank you for caring for doorman Charlie Murray who died in December last year – residents are being urged to don bright colours for the annual Wear Yellow Day on Friday May 28

By Ian Duncan

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An Inverness hotel welcomed three members of staff from Highland Hospice for afternoon tea recently – to thank them for caring for their doorman in the weeks before he passed away.

The treat from the Drumossie Hotel was for members of the hospice’s in-patient team who helped care for Charlie Murray, who died in December last year.

The visit coincided with the launch of the charity’s annual fundraising Wear Yellow Day, which will take place on Friday, May 28.

The hotel is supporting the initiative this year, with staff having already taken part in a number of fundraising efforts since Mr Murray was taken ill.

Visitors can book a special Sunflower Afternoon Tea on Wear Yellow Day and the hotel will donate £5 from each booking to Highland Hospice.

Kenny McMillan, the hotel’s general manager, said: “We are delighted to host this special Sunflower Afternoon Tea in memory of our much-loved and greatly missed colleague and friend, Charlie.

“As well as donating £5 from every booking for afternoon tea enjoyed during Wear Yellow Day on May 28, we were pleased to welcome some of the amazing Highland Hospice staff who helped to care for Charlie when they joined us for a tasting preview as a gesture of our thanks.

“Featuring an assortment of goodies from lemon curd to custard creams, we hope that our celebration of Highland Hospice’s work will not only boost their coffers but also give everyone on our team a fitting way to remember Charlie.

“It is an honour to play a part in raising crucial funds for the incredible work undertaken by Highland Hospice and we hope to continue our support of their efforts beyond May 28.”

Mr Murray’s brother, Allan, also encouraged people to support Wear Yellow Day in his memory, saying the hospice had offered incredible support at a very difficult time.

He said: “If I could say anything about the care delivered by Highland Hospice, I would say it was beyond my belief. There was so much passion and commitment around Charlie’s stay – I was overwhelmed by the love, care, positivity and attention to detail provided.

“For the Highland Hospice staff, nothing is too much. Marion the cook is a wonderful character with a great sense of humour, who enjoyed a joke with Charlie and me.

“There are fabulous volunteers who give up their time to help things run smoothly – and I’ll always remember my conversation with one of them who had been retired for a year and was enjoying a new lease of life being able to give something back.

“The location of the hospice is incredible, on the banks of the River Ness where, even in winter, the sun shines through the patients’ windows.”

Hospice fundraiser Emma Nicol said: “We are so grateful to Allan for backing this campaign, and to the staff of the Drumossie Hotel who will be remembering their much-loved colleague on the day.”

She said there had never been a more important time to support local hospices,adding: “We hope that more people than ever will wear yellow, have lots of fun and post on social media using the hashtag #WearYellowDay.

“Our website has fundraising and fun activity packs, and we are here to support anyone who wishes to set up their own event or challenge in support of the day.”

Mr Murray was cared for at the hospice for six weeks and was a much-loved character in Inverness as well as at the hotel where he had worked since the early 2000s.

He had also enjoyed an earlier career at sea which included time aboard luxury liner the QE2.

At the Drumossie Hotel he was renowned for greeting guests by proudly standing at the banqueting room entrance in his kilt.

His character and presence became synonymous with events at the hotel and with the warm welcome that all of the guests would come to recognise as soon as they arrived.

• To book an afternoon tea call the hotel direct on 01463 236451 and quote Sunflower Tea HH and to find out more visit here.

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