Helen Bach: Captain Tom is a fantastic example to us all

Emma Sohl / Capture the Light PhotographyEmma Sohl / Capture the Light Photography
Emma Sohl / Capture the Light Photography
On Reflection

Happy 100th birthday, Captain Tom Moore! At the time of writing, this wonderful gentleman has raised more than £18 million for NHS charities.

He is such a fantastic example to us all, thanks to his sheer positivity and will to do something amazing at such a worrying and stressful time.

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Captain Tom’s story made me smile and cry simultaneously as I watched him complete the 100th lap of his garden live on the ‘BBC Breakfast’ TV show.

Michael Ball then sang ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, and various celebrities sent video messages of congratulations, including Judge Judy, whom I almost didn’t recognise because she wasn’t in her court gown with the white lace collar.

Captain Tom has captured the hearts and imaginations of the nation, which is why I think his fundraising total has been so high.

He set out to raise £1,000, which is still a fantastic amount of money for NHS charities. But when the Great British public learned of his efforts, they collectively thought: “No mate, you can do better than that!”

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Then they thought: “I can’t spend my money on anything other than groceries and Amazon deliveries at the moment. You may as well have some cash. It’s for the NHS. We love you and we love the NHS. It’s a no-brainer.”

And so the donations kept on flooding in. It wasn’t organised by celebrities. There was no big publicity drive. It was just an extraordinary 99-year-old, with a walking frame, exercising in his own back garden.

I’m getting emotional again writing about it, but I think it’s this kind of thing that is great about our country.

It has its faults, we all know that. But when a dignified elderly ex-soldier decides he’s going to do a sponsored walk for the NHS, we all join together, get behind him and spur him on.

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We take pride in his efforts, we marvel at his energy, and we dig deep and give what we can.

As Captain Tom said, we will get through this.

And I think it was Winston Churchill who said that when you’re going through hell, you just keep going.

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