Applause for Tom Moore: 14 millions Pounds for NHS. Your turn now?

A 99-year-old war veteran has walked 100 laps of his garden to raise £14m and counting for the NHS.

Captain Tom Moore originally wanted to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together by completing laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.

But he smashed his target after more than 700,000 people made donations to his fundraising page.

As he finished the challenge, he said: “I feel fine, I hope you’re all feeling fine too.”

Capt Tom told the BBC earlier that the total amount raised so far was “an absolutely fantastic sum of money”.

“I never dreamt I would be involved in such an occasion as this,” he said at the end of his final lap.

Capt Tom with grandson Benji, daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and granddaughter Georgia
Image caption Capt Tom with grandson Benji, daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and granddaughter Georgia

Just before 15:00 BST, Capt Tom’s JustGiving page, which temporarily crashed shortly after he finished the challenge, was showing donations of more than £14m.

His daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said: “We are absolutely floored by what has been achieved but we’re so happy, so humbled and so proud.

“He’s a beacon of hope in dark times and I think we all need something like this to believe in and it’s for such an amazing cause.”

His granddaughter, Georgia, added she was “very proud” of him.

‘Extraordinary’

Capt Tom began raising funds to thank the “magnificent” NHS staff who helped him with treatment for cancer and a broken hip.

With the aid of a walking frame, he completed 100 laps of the 25-metre (82ft) loop in his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, in 10-lap chunks well before his birthday on 30 April.

Tributes and messages of congratulations have poured in from politicians, celebrities and NHS workers.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Capt Tom had “captured the heart of the nation with his heroic efforts” and raised an “incredible amount” of money.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said what he had done was “extraordinary” and “showed that the British spirit was as strong as it’s ever been”, while Brig Andrew Jackson, colonel of the Yorkshire Regiment, described Capt Tom as “an absolute legend” who came from “an exceptional generation that are still an inspiration for our Yorkshire soldiers today”.

Celebrity judge Judy Sheindlin described the 99-year-old as “remarkable” while former F1 champion Damon Hill congratulated him on the “brilliant idea and for pulling it off”.

‘It will all be right’

Nurses on Ward 4 at the Royal University Hospital said: “Thank you so much for all your efforts and how much money you’ve raised for the NHS.”

Capt Tom also received a special message from actor and singer Michael Ball, who described the challenge as “an extraordinary achievement” and sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to him live on BBC Breakfast.

Captain Tom Moore
Image caption Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment formed a Guard of Honour for the final laps

Shortly after he finished the fundraiser, the retired soldier had words of advice for the nation about coping with the coronavirus lockdown.

“You’ve all got to remember that we will get through it in the end, it will all be right,” he said.

“For all those people finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.”

More than 700,000 people from around the world have donated money to the fundraising page since it was set up last week.

Capt Tom, who is originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the Army for World War Two, rising to captain and serving in India and Myanmar, also known as Burma.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-beds-bucks-herts-52303859#

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