There’s not much to cheer about during the coronavirus pandemic, but our hearts have all been warmed by the heroic fundraising efforts of 99-year-old Captain Tom Moore. With his 100th birthday days away, he’s now been honoured with his own postmark as well as hitting No.1 in the music charts.
With his JustGiving NHS charity fund now standing at £29m, the war veteran from Bedfordshire raised money by walking laps around his garden with the help of a walking frame.
Now the Royal Mail is marking his achievement with a a special stamp on all letters up to Friday, marking his 100th birthday on Thursday with the words “Happy 100th Birthday Captain Thomas Moore NHS fundraising hero 30th April 2020.”
Cards on display
Royal Mail said it was “honoured” to issue the postmark, and said it had to adapt its sorting machines in the South Midlands Mail Centre to re-route post to Captain Tom into a dedicated collection box. Staff have already processed more than 100,000 cards and were expecting thousands more in the run-up to his birthday. Volunteers have been opening and displaying the cards at Bedford School which Captain Tom’s grandson attends.
Captain Tom has extended his challenge to 200 laps after he completed the first 100 laps 14 days ahead of schedule. His initial £1,000 fundraising target was broken in about 24 hours and he has now raised more than £29m for the NHS.
Never Walk Alone
Meanwhile Captain Tom Moore and Michael Ball’s cover of You’ll Never Walk Alone sold 82,000 copies and went straight to the top of the music charts, making the Captain the first centenarian to top the charts. proceeds from sales go to the NHS Charities Together Fund.
Captain Tom also opened a new Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate, receiving a standing ovation from NHS staff and military personnel at the virtual ceremony.