- in Technology
What began as a 99-year-old Army veteran walking laps of his garden for charity has evolved into a story that has captured the hearts of a nation desperate for positive news during the coronavirus pandemic.
Capt Tom Moore’s initial hopes of raising £1,000 by lapping his Bedfordshire garden 100 times before his 100th birthday seem like a distant memory, with the total now surpassing a staggering £30m.
The fund continues to rise and has been earmarked for the NHS. What will happen to the money?
Technology What is NHS Charities Together?
Having recently been treated for a broken hip and skin cancer, Capt Tom was inspired to walk the 2.5km (1.6 miles) around his home garden with the aid of a frame to raise money for NHS Charities Together.
Capt Tom himself said he set about raising the money “for the sake of the nurses and the NHS we have, because they are doing such a magnificent job”.
The umbrella organisation supports more than 140 member health service charities, which are typically linked to specific hospitals or NHS trusts.
Many of the funds donated to NHS Charities Together are then disseminated to charities to use at a local level – and that’s where the kind of money raised by Capt Tom will be spent.
Donations since the pandemic started have been used to help set up wellbeing spaces in hospitals. These include sleep pods, reclining chairs and so-called “wobble rooms” – areas where staff have a safe space to release emotions after a traumatic experience, such as losing a patient.
Wellbeing packs including everyday items such as porridge, tea or hand cream have also been given to staff, which one charity member said was “like a hug in a box”.
The money has also helped pay for electronic tablets that allow patients who are in isolation in hospital to have contact with their friends and family.
In the long term, the funds will be used in planning to allow people to leave hospital quicker and safely, and also provide mental health support for staff and volunteers involved in dealing with the pandemic.
Chairman Ian Lush said: “It’s extraordinary to see the amount of money and the outpouring of goodwill towards the NHS and towards all the NHS charities, who will take good care with the money that he’s raising.”
Technology Will JustGiving earn from this?
When Capt Tom finished his 100th lap live on BBC Breakfast, his JustGiving fundraising page temporarily crashed.
His current total is the largest raised in a single campaign on the site, and the company itself has become one of more than 900,000 donors, giving £100,000.
In March 2019 the website abolished its 5% mandatory platform fee from donations, replacing it instead with a voluntary contribution model.
When donating, people are asked if they would like to make a contribution, starting at 10%, and they must opt out of this amount if they do not wish to pay it.
In a statement a spokeswoman said: “This model provides donors with choice and transparency, as well as allowing JustGiving to maintain the technology that keeps our site running 24/7, provide top-notch customer service and give everyone the best experience on JustGiving.”
She added that 97% of all monies raised would go to NHS Charities Together, as with any other fundraiser on the donation site.
For an online card transaction paid in pounds on JustGiving, 1.9% on each donation plus 20p is deducted. Other currencies are subject to a 2.9% plus 20p deduction.
A significant proportion of this is understood to go to card companies but JustGiving also receives a proportion, which is used towards operating costs.
JustGiving was unable to provide a figure for how much money had been generated by transaction fees and contributions.
Technology Who is Capt Tom?
Tom Moore was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire, on 30 April 1920. He attended Keighley Grammar School before training as a civil engineer and enlisting in the Army during World War Two.
He rose to captain and served in India and Myanmar, then known as Burma.
He will celebrate his 100th birthday on 30 April and while his initial plans were scuppered by coronavirus, he said the national outpouring of love and support for him was “a party enough for me”.
Technology Where does Capt Tom live?
For the past 12 years Capt Tom has lived with his family – daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore and grandchildren Benji and Georgia – at a house in Marston Moretaine, a small Bedfordshire village.
His name has been added to a list of the village’s most notable people on Wikipedia, where he stands alongside a former speaker of the House of Commons, two cricketers and a man who lost an arm at the Battle of Waterloo.
And his fame is spreading, with people from all over the country seeking to wish him well ahead of his birthday at the end April.
Village postmaster Bill Chandi said hundreds of birthday cards had been arriving.
Technology What has been the reaction?
Capt Tom’s daughter Hannah called her father a “beacon of hope in dark times”.
“I think we all need something like this to believe in and it’s for such an amazing cause,” she said.
Former F1 champion Damon Hill congratulated him on the “brilliant idea and for pulling it off”, while current champion Lewis Hamilton called him a “total inspiration”.
Capt Tom’s story brings some solace during a global pandemic. The director-general of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called the feat an “extraordinary act of solidarity”.
Capt Tom’s efforts have even raised the attention of royalty, with the Duke of Cambridge calling him a “one-man fundraising machine”.
Actor Tom Hardy, who played a Spitfire pilot in the World War Two film Dunkirk, is one of the high profile names calling for Capt Tom to be knighted among a series of supportive Instagram posts.
And with more than half a million people backing a petition to the Honours Committee calling for a knighthood, could his heroic achievement be given a royal seal?