UK’s Captain Tom Moore's NHS appeal tops £32m on 100th birthday
The appeal by NHS fundraiser Captain Tom Moore topped £32m as he celebrated his 100th birthday. The UK war veteran, who raised the money by walking laps of his garden, has also been made an honorary colonel. The occasion was also marked with an RAF flypast and birthday greetings from the Queen and prime minister. With celebrations under way, Captain Tom said everyone who donated was “magnificent” as the fund reached £30m on Thursday morning, 30 April 2020. Over a week before Moore's 100th birthday, so many cards had been sent to him that Royal Mail had had to introduce dedicated sorting facilities and around 20 volunteers were recruited to open and display them, at the local Bedford School. By his birthday over 150 000 cards had been received. Royal Mail announced that all stamped post between 26 April and 1 May would be postmarked “Happy 100th Birthday Captain Thomas Moore NHS fundraising hero 30th April 2020”. Royal Mail also celebrated his birthday by painting a postbox, near his home, the shade of blue used by the NHS, with a golden balloon and inscription on the side.
On the morning of his birthday, a Hawker Hurricane and a Spitfire from the Royal Air Force's Battle of Britain Memorial Flight performed a flypast over Moore's house. In the afternoon, a second flypast featured two Army Air Corps helicopters, a Wildcat and an Apache.
Michael Ball appeared live on BBC Breakfast to sing “Happy Birthday to You” to Moore. Birthday congratulations were also made by the likes of Boris Johnson, Harry Kane and Prince Charles. Moore also took a video call from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, who wished him a happy birthday.
Instead of the standard 100th birthday message from Queen Elizabeth II, he received a personalised card, presented in person by the Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis.
The money raised by his campaign is already being put to good use. COVID-19 patients are able to keep in touch with loved ones thanks to iPads bought with money raised by Captain Tom Moore. People unable to receive hospital visitors have been given the devices after the 100-year-old war veteran raised £32million for NHS charities by walking 100 laps of his garden.
More than £20million raised by Captain Tom, who was promoted to Honorary Colonel on his birthday last week, has already been handed out by NHS Charities Together. It was split between 225 hospital charities to improve life for patients and health staff and will be spent on comfortable seating areas, staff water coolers, coffee machines, food and toiletries.
Funds have also been spent on counselling sessions and hotel rooms for NHS workers staying away from home to protect vulnerable family members.
Ian Lush, chairman of NHS Charities Together, said, “The incredible amount of money raised by Colonel Tom Moore is already reaching the frontline and making huge improvements to the daily lives of patients and NHS staff. We are not about replacing Government funding, it is about enhancing what is there, paying for better fixtures and fittings and things that are non-essential items in terms of health care but that are nice to have. The money the British public has so generously donated in the last four weeks will have a lasting legacy for years and make a huge difference to the well-being of staff and patients.”
Before the pandemic, NHS Charities Together, an umbrella organisation for more than 200 small charities that raise money for individual hospital trusts, was little known. It had three employees and an income of £300 000 last year but since its COVID-19 Urgent Appeal was launched in March, it has raised £83million. To cope, it has drafted in more workers, including administration staff who have been furloughed from hospitals in Birmingham.
Source: Daily Mail and BBC