Traditionally, as they approach 100 years old, most British people's main ambition is to receive a telegram from the Queen on their birthday. Captain Tom Moore decided to walk using a walking frame to raise money for National Health Service charities during the Covid-19 pandemic. But he had no idea the success his campaign would have.
In the last 18 months, Captain Moore has been treated by the NHS for skin cancer and a broken hip. To thank staff for their care, he decided to try to raise money for NHS charities at a time when NHS staff are overwhelmed with work during the pandemic.
His daughters, above, set up a Justgiving page with Tom's pledge to walk a hundred 25-metre lengths of his garden in the hope of raising £1000 for NHS Charities Together.
Exploding his Target
The page went live on 9 April, with "Captain Tom" planning to do walk 250 metres a day. In just 24 hours, the target had been pledged, and then it just kept going. This was his reaction when he reached £2 million:
£26 Million and Counting
But it hasn't stopped there:on 16 April, as Captain Moore finished his 100 laps, it broke the £26 million barrier! It's the largest amount ever fundraised by a single campaign on the site.
Captain Tom seems to be taking it all in his stride, giving interviews to journalists and receiving thanks from donors and NHS staff alike.His 100th birthday party at the end of the month will have to be much smaller than planned due to lockdown, but he doesn't mind.
And he will certainly be receiving thousands of cards, thanks to the initiative of 8-year-old Reegan Davies from Wales.
We want to give back to this Legend TOM @captaintommoore who has raised over One Million pound for our @NHSMillion - we are kindly asking all kids across the UK to make him a Virtual Birthday card to say thanks - here are the instructions #makeacardfortom Please all share #NHS pic.twitter.com/f8Ck8LQZwq
— Reegan Davies (@DaviesReegan) April 14, 2020
A Very Special Present?
And he may receive a very special present, too. West End musical star Michael Ball has recorded a version of the song "Never Walk Alone" with the NHS Voices of Care Choir and featuring Captain Moore. He hopes that the charity record will raise even more money, and provide a unique present for the veteran: a Number One single on his 100th birthday on 30 April.
Captain Tom Moore