Captain Tom: exactly one year since a local newspaper reported on 'Bedford man' walking 100 lengths of his garden for the NHS
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One year ago today, our sister title Bedford Today ran a story on how a “Bedford man” was aiming to walk 100 lengths of his garden to raise money for the NHS before his 100th birthday.
Of course we all now know who this man was - Captain Sir Tom Moore who would go on to raise almost £33 million for NHS Charities Together, blowing his original goal of £1,000 out the water.
‘Walking 100 lengths’
With the headline “Bedford man to walk 100 lengths of his garden for NHS before his 100th birthday”, the article explains that Captain Sir Tom, born in April 1920, “has pledged to walk 100 lengths of his 50 metre-long garden and donate 100 per cent of the funds raised to NHS Charities Together”.
NHS Charities Together represents, supports and champions the work of the NHS’ official charities, and gives £1 million a day to the NHS.
Captain Sir Tom had been inspired to raise the money following the treatment he received from the NHS after breaking his hip, and also for skin cancer.
The then 99-year-old decided he wanted to raise £1,000 before his 100th birthday, and with the help of his family, he launched a Just Giving page.
What no one could have predicted at the time is that the 99 year old war veteran would go on to raise record breaking amounts of money for NHS Charities Together, be knighted by the Queen and launch his own charity foundation.
What is the birthday challenge?
The family of Captain Sir Tom are encouraging members of the public to take part in their very own “Captain Tom 100” challenge on what would have been his 101st birthday weekend.
The family are asking people to create their very own challenges themed around the number 100 to raise money for the Captain Tom Foundation, or for a charity of their choice.
They are asking that you take part in your challenge between Friday 30 April and Monday 3 May, as his birthday would have been on 30 April. Captain Tom passed away at Bedford Hospital on 2 February after testing positive for Covid-19.
Hannah said: “We want people to go crazy and create their own 100 - a challenge around the number 100. Because he was 100, and he was so proud to be 100.
“We thought of whether it should be 101 but it’s definitely 100 because that year he lived being 100 was the best year of his life, almost certainly.”
The Captain Tom Foundation website says that the challenge can be “anything you like - from walking 100 metres to baking 100 cakes or writing 100 letters”.