National hero launches ‘Walk with Tom’ – new campaign to help people in pandemic

By Samara, aged 16, Jill Dando News at The King Alfred School Academy

Captain Sir Tom Moore, the 100 year old veteran who raised £33m for the NHS, has launched a new campaign, to help those who are the most lonely during lockdown.

‘Walk with Tom’ encourages to people to log their walking on social media, through the #WalkWithTom, to help those who are feeling the most lonely and frightened during lockdown. 

Inspired by Captain Tom’s campaign, 104 year old Ruth Saunders from Newbury, has walked the length of a marathon, to raise money for Thames Valley Air Ambulance. She started taking daily walks during lockdown, aspiring like Captain Tom to complete 104 walks to match her age. However, her granddaughter encouraged her to try and cover the distance of a marathon. She ended up raising £31,000 for the charity!

Also inspired by Captain Tom’s campaign, Leicester Army Veteran Steve George, has completed the challenge to run the equivalent of 50 marathons before his 50 birthday. 

Steve admits to struggling with mental illness, and had also struggled with long term unemployment since leaving the army in 2010. Speaking to BBC News about his experience, he said: “Completing the challenge helped him ‘mentally’ as well as raising money for Help for Heroes. It’s basically proved to me that when I put my mind to something I can do it!” 

Alongside the launch of his new ‘Walk with Tom’ campaign, Captain Sir Tom has also recently launched his own foundation (Captain Tom foundation). 

Set up in September, the foundation works alongside four charities: Mind, The Royal British Legion, Helen and Douglas House Children’s Hospice in Oxfordshire and Willen Hospice in Milton Keynes. In a recent interview with BBC News, he said: “We’ve got to consider that during the next coming period there are gonna be a lot of unhappy people who are lonely and frightened and we need to go out and help these people. That’s why we’ve got the Captain Tom Foundation.”

Captain Tom, you are an inspiration to us all! 

(Photo source, Twitter, Captain Tom)