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Philippa Grant MBE: a life force who will be hugely missed by family and friends

By Tom Ramage

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Tributes have been paid to Philippa Grant, MBE, of Rothiemurchus, Aviemore, who died in a road accident on the A9, at the Slochd, near Carrbridge, on Friday evening when her Silver Audi A4 was in collision with the single decker bus.

Philippa Grant (73) is survived by her husband of 51 years, Johnnie. The couple have three children, Louisa, James and Alexandra and five grandchildren.

Philippa Grant.
Philippa Grant.

She grew up in Buckinghamshire with two younger brothers, and in 1971 married Johnnie Grant, who is the custodian of the Rothiemurchus Estate, where she moved in 1975, and brought up her family.

She was active in her community and indeed on a national level, serving in the Girl Guides, Aviemore Village and Community Councils, the Pre-School Play Groups Association, The Highland Community Care Forum, the Scottish Tourist Board, and NHS Quality Improvement Scotland.

She also served on the main board of Maggie’s between 2004-2015 and was Chair of Maggie’s Highland from 2000-2015.

For her work on the Clinical Standards Board for Scotland she was awarded an MBE for services to NHS Scotland.

Philippa Grant MBE with Fergus Ewing MSP at a Visit Scotland expo in 2015
Philippa Grant MBE with Fergus Ewing MSP at a Visit Scotland expo in 2015

Her family issued the following statement:

“Philippa was a fun and loving mother and grandmother, a life force who will be hugely missed by our family, friends and all who came in contact with her. We will miss her terribly.

“She will be so fondly remembered for the energy and enthusiasm that she ploughed into a career that spanned business, charity and tourism whilst bringing up a family.

“She was driven by a deep sense of care, whether she was improving food and nutrition in hospitals as a member of NHS Clinical Standards Board for Scotland, leading the Girl Guides, as Chair of Highland Community Care Forum or as a Board member of Maggie’s as it grew from an Edinburgh charity nationwide.

“As a member of the Scottish Tourist Board, she oversaw the design of Scotland’s brown tourist signs, whilst offering her colleagues support and plenty of laughter along the way. She was entrepreneurial and created a viable Ranger Service at Rothiemurchus so visitors can enjoy this special nature conservation area, sustainably. She pursued this with characteristic vision, hard work and tenacity.”

Peter Peacock, a former Convener of The Highland Council and Scottish Government Minister, who knew Philippa well, said: “I am very saddened by Philippa’s tragic death, as will all who knew her.

"Philippa was a considerable 'tour de force' across a wide range of community issues, health and care issues in particular, but by no means limited to that. She seldom took no for an answer when lobbying for change and was a highly intelligent and perceptive analyst on the needs of improvement across a range of community issues she helped with down the years.

"My thoughts are with her family at this very sad time.”

Mark Tate, CBP chief: 'I cannot yet find the words to express how much she will be missed'
Mark Tate, CBP chief: 'I cannot yet find the words to express how much she will be missed'

Dame Laura Lee, Chief Executive of Maggie’s, said: “Philippa gave 150 per cent to Maggie’s. In 2000 she lead the development for a Maggie’s for Highlands and then joined Maggie’s main board from 2004-2015. During all this time and after she stood down as board member she showed her deep care and commitment for those with cancer and their families and how their life’s could be better. She championed the growth of Maggie’s across Scotland and the UK. She is a huge loss to the world of cancer care. Our thoughts are with her family.”

Mark Tate, chief executive officer of Cairngorms Business Partnership, of which she was a stalwart member of longstanding, told the Strathy: "“I cannot yet find the words to express just how much Philippa will be missed and how much she contributed to the area.

"Philippa was my friend and mentor and all my thoughts are with Johnnie and the whole family.”

Fellow strath entrepreneurs John and Joanna McDonough were stunned to the hear the news confirmed.

"Such tragic news," the said from their Speyside Distillery at Drumguish.

"Our thoughts are with the Grant family."

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