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Tom Moore, 99, raises more than £12m for NHS in sponsored walk

Capt Tom Moore, 99, completes garden walk NHS fundraiser with guard of honour. 16 April, 2020. Image: Reuters

Captain Tom Moore, a 99-year-old British war veteran, having raised £12m for NHS frontline workers by walking 100 laps of his garden using a walker, has been praised as a ‘beacon of hope’ amid the coronavirus crisis.

After reaching his 100 lap target, completed with a guard of honour from the 1st Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, the 99-year-old said he felt fine and was glad to be “surrounded by the right sort of people”.

Moore, who aimed to complete the walk before he turns 100 on 30 April, had originally hoped to raise £1,000 but surpassed his target within days.

Captain Moore has received numerous messages of thanks and praise from NHS workers, sports personalities and politicians.

Ben Stokes, England’s leading cricketer, said he hoped he would be moving as well as Moore when he was 50 let alone 100, while finance minister Rishi Sunak praised his “Yorkshire grit”.

Moore, however, remained focused on the sacrifices made by health service workers and the efforts of his fellow Britons, who have been locked down since March 23.

“You’ve all got to remember that we will get through it in the end, it will all be right, it might take time,” Moore said. “At the end of the day we shall all be okay again.”

He received special attention from the health secretary, Matt Hancock, during the Wednesday evening press conference at Downing Street.

In his opening statement, the health secretary said: “I want to pay a special tribute today to Captain Tom Moore. Captain Tom, you’re an inspiration to us all, and we thank you.”

At that point, donations had surpassed £8m, but by just after 11pm on Wednesday the figure had risen by another £2m.

Moore, who aimed to complete the walk before he turns 100 on 30 April, had originally hoped to raise £1,000 but surpassed his target within days.

Earlier, he told BBC TV: “I think that’s absolutely enormous. At no time when we started off with this exercise did we anticipate we’d get anything near that sort of money.

“It just shows that people have such high regard for matters of our National Health Service and it’s really amazing that people have paid so much money.”

Moore began raising funds to thank NHS staff who treated him for a broken hip and is adamant that NHS workers on the frontline “deserve everything we can give them”.

Speaking on ITV, he said: “I’ve always been one for having a future, I always think things will be good. We’ve fought so many battles and we’ve always won and we’re going to win again.”

Son-in-law Colin Ingram said raising money for the NHS had given Moore a new lease of life.

“He’s coming down in the morning sprightly and loving it,” Ingram told Reuters on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, an eight-year-old girl has started an online campaign for children to make birthday cards for Moore’s 100th birthday.

Reegan Davies, from Port Talbot, South Wales, set a target of 1,500 virtual cards after posting a video online to thank him for his fundraising efforts.

She says in the video posted on Twitter: “You’ve got to make a birthday card for Tom, any social media you post it, and tag makeacardfortom”.

Originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, Moore trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the army for the second world war, rising to captain and serving in India and Burma.

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