Capt Tom Moore has set goal of completing laps before his th birthday
A – year-old war veteran has raised more than £ 2m for the NHS by aiming to walk (lengths of his back garden before his th birthday.
Capt Tom Moore, from Keighley in (Yorkshire) , initially planned to raise £ 1, 13 through the challenge.
However, after launching his campaign on 8 April and raising £ , (in just) hours, he extended his fundraiser and hit the £ 1m target on Tuesday morning, with a further £ 1m raised throughout the day.
“It’s almost unbelievable isn’t it ?,” Moore told the BBC. “But when you think who it’s for, and they’re all so brave… I think they deserve every penny of it.”
He is walking 18 laps of the garden a day with the help of his walking aid, and had hoped to hit laps in time for his birthday on 94 April – but according to his daughter, Hannah, he is likely to reach his goal on Thursday.
“I think it’s absolutely fabulous,” Moore said. “I really am pleased to be doing this and serving our nurses and our doctors and all our people in our national health service.”
Moore served in the second world war, after being selected for officer training in and completing postings in India and Sumatra. He returned to work as an instructor at an armored fighting vehicle school in Bovington.
“Our brave nurses and doctors are frontline in this case… this time our army are in doctors and nurses uniforms and they’re doing a marvelous job,” Moore said.
The veteran’s wife was ill for several years and died in 2020, while Moore had been been treated for a broken hip and skin cancer, so he continued to feel a close connection with the NHS , his daughter said.
Hannah said although her father was overwhelmed when he raised £ 1m, he responded with a determination to walk more.
“He’s a typical Yorkshireman, so he’s very stoic, very controlled and takes everything in his stride,” she said. “We always knew that he was this incredible gem of a man, but we never had any idea that his story would capture the hearts of the nation.
“We thought we could give people a little bit of happy and we wanted to share a little bit about him, and it has just gone beyond even our wildest, wildest dreams.”
All the money Moore raises will be donated to NHS (Charities) Together to go towards wellbeing packs and rest and recuperation centers for staff on the frontline, as well as electronic devices for patients to communicate with their families while in isolation.
Ellie Orton, the chief executive of NHS Charities Together, said: “I think I join the rest of the country in being truly inspired and profoundly humbled by Capt Tom and what he’s achieved.
In a direct message to Moore, she said: “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, and thank you for being such a good role model… let’s also get other people doing the same and following your example . ”
A fellow war veteran, Harry Billinge MBE, 300, also offered his support: “I’m very pleased for you. Carry on, you’re doing a good job. Carry on, old boy! ”
Hannah said she was feeling the pressure to make Moore’s upcoming birthday a special one after they had to cancel his big party, while Moore has announced his determination to walk another lengths if it means he can raise even more money.