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16 Apr 20. Coronavirus: Capt Tom Moore finishes NHS fundraiser as it tops £12m. A 99-year-old war veteran has walked 100 laps of his garden to raise more than £12m for the NHS. Captain Tom Moore originally wanted to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together by completing laps of his garden before his 100th birthday. But he smashed his target after more than 640,000 people made donations to his fundraising page.
As he finished the challenge, he said: “I feel fine, I hope you’re all feeling fine too.”
Capt Tom told the BBC earlier that the total amount raised so far was “an absolutely fantastic sum of money”.
“I never dreamt I would be involved in such an occasion as this,” he said at the end of his final lap.
By 11:00 BST, Capt Tom’s JustGiving page, which temporarily crashed shortly after he finished the challenge, was showing donations of more than £12.5m.
His daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore said: “We are absolutely floored by what has been achieved but we’re so happy, so humbled and so proud.
“He’s a beacon of hope in dark times and I think we all need something like this to believe in and it’s for such an amazing cause.”
Capt Tom began raising funds to thank the “magnificent” NHS staff who helped him with treatment for cancer and a broken hip.
With the aid of a walking frame, he completed 100 laps of the 25-metre (82ft) loop in his garden in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, in 10-lap chunks well before his birthday on 30 April.
Tributes and messages of congratulations have poured in from politicians, celebrities and NHS workers.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak, said what he had done was “extraordinary” and “showed that the British spirit was as strong as it’s ever been”, while Brig Andrew Jackson, colonel of the Yorkshire Regiment, described Capt Tom as “an absolute legend” who came from “an exceptional generation that are still an inspiration for our Yorkshire soldiers today”.
Celebrity judge Judy Sheindlin described the 99-year-old as “remarkable” while former F1 champion Damon Hill congratulated him on the “brilliant idea and for pulling it off”.
Nurses on Ward 4 at the Royal University Hospital said: “Thank you so much for all your efforts and how much money you’ve raised for the NHS.”
Capt Tom also received a special message from actor and singer Michael Ball, who described the challenge as “an extraordinary achievement” and sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” to him live on BBC Breakfast.
‘It will all be right’
Shortly after he finished the fundraiser, the retired soldier had words of advice for the nation about coping with the coronvirus lockdown.
“You’ve all got to remember that we will get through it in the end, it will all be right,” he said.
“For all those people finding it difficult at the moment, the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.”
More than 600,000 people from around the world have donated money to the fundraising page since it was set up last week.
Capt Tom, who is originally from Keighley in West Yorkshire, trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the Army for World War Two, rising to captain and serving in India and Myanmar, also known as Burma.
Calls for him to receive a knighthood have gathered momentum and a petition has been signed by almost 2,000 people so far.
“It would be marvellous to have such an honour but I don’t expect anything like that,” Capt Tom said.
NHS Charities Together, which support health service charities and will benefit from the funds, said it was “truly inspired and humbled” by his efforts.
Chairman, Ian Lush, said about 150 charities would benefit from the money.
“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,” he said.
JustGiving confirmed it is the largest total ever raised in a single campaign on its site and it had itself donated £100,000 to Capt Tom’s “amazing campaign”.
“This is the largest donation JustGiving has ever made,” a spokeswoman said.
“[The campaign is] the largest total raised on JustGiving, the fastest growing campaign on the platform and has attracted donations and media coverage from around the world.”
BATTLESPACE Comment: What an amazing man! A true veteran!
13 Apr 20. Calling All Veterans! Exfor+ is creating small teams of ten to go into the NHS Nightingale at London Excel have 6 for the first group but need regular groups of 10 being onboarded.
Exfor+ is doing this voluntarily as it’s getting veterans work whilst in lockdown.
All roles are in the Green Zone so risk is the same as going to the shops. All candidates will be tested before going and during their time and after.
If you are interested follow the link below:
09 Apr 20. SSAFA Emergency Response Fund launched. I hope that you’re well and that you are getting to grips with life around Covid-19. We thought you might appreciate an update on how SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity is coping during these unsettling times. Staff and volunteers are working remotely, and we have been working very hard to ensure that we can still support the Armed Forces community at a time when our volunteer caseworkers are self-isolating. As is the case for many other charities, our income has been significantly affected by cancellation of fundraising events and by issues encountered by our partners during the crisis.
Our mentoring, housing and adoption services are busy, as is our support service for Gurkha families and our younger volunteers are delivering provisions to beneficiaries where they can. Our Forcesline helpline is particularly busy. We do however face a significant challenge in providing rapid support to all of those who contact us in need of urgent assistance, and so we are today launching an emergency fund.
SSAFA EMERGENCY RESPONSE FUND
Our mission is to do whatever we can, for as long as we can, to ensure that all veterans, serving personnel, and their families’ access and receive the assistance they urgently need – at this time more than any other.
Since Covid-19 outbreak and lock-down, calls and requests into our front-line staff for help have increased dramatically, especially from those who are older, who have health problems, who are on low incomes or self-employed and who are at the greatest risk of harm.
Our response to this crisis is the SSAFA Emergency Response Fund. This fund will prioritise support for our critical front-line services, by ensuring they are able to continue to provide immediate assistance to those impacted by Covid-19.
Examples of what donations will provide:
- financial assistance for basic living, heating and warm clothes, as well as paying for bills, rent and food, by distributing vouchers or delivering food parcels
- advocacy and support with accessing benefits and entitlements, particularly for housing and accommodation issues
- welfare and emotional help for those who have lost their jobs, are grieving or in crisis
- befriending and other informal support networks
- safeguarding and supporting our own teams of frontline volunteers and staff, who are continuing to provide our services over the phone, skype or email – as needed.
This support for the Armed Forces family can only be provided through our dedicated and expert teams of staff and volunteers who run our helplines, frontline welfare services and support SSAFA’s UK-wide network of caseworkers, which is why this appeal is so important.
Many of those who now need our help have fought battles on our behalf to protect our freedoms and liberties, but they need your help now. Please support them to survive this battle with COVID-19 and give what you can.
We are however very aware that this might not be possible in these hard times and wanted to also let you know about some initiatives that individuals can take part in at home; we would be most grateful if these could be circulated.
- VE Day Art project to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day on May 8th; draw or paint something VE Day themed and enter now at https://givepenny.com/appeal-for/ve-day-75-art Prizes are awarded in different age groups and it’s a great way to keep kids busy!
- Virtual runs are a great way to use your daily exercise to raise funds – see more at https://runforcharity.com/ssafa-the-armed-forces-charity/virtual-running-events
- Shop with our Partners – https://www.ssafastore.org.uk/partners – SSAFA’s dedicated partners sell exclusive products and services, all support SSAFA with every purchase you make.
- Sign up to Amazon Smile – https://smile.amazon.co.uk/ and select SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity as your chosen charity. A great way to raise funds for SSAFA while you shop with Amazon.
- Use Savoo: Search & Raise – https://www.ssafa.org.uk/support-us/shop-and-support-ssafa/savoo-search-and-raise a way to generate funds, for SSAFA, whilst you browse and search the internet.
- Give as You Live – shop at over 4,200 stores and raise funds for SSAFA, find out more -https://www.giveasyoulive.com/join/ssafasupport
We are also working on further events, including a virtual version of our famous Big Brew Up in June; more to come!
You can donate to SSAFA using the following link and please use the reference, Battlespace. https://www.ssafa.org.uk/donate
ExFor+ CIC is a relatively new organisation but has been established with the objective of becoming a National overarching organisation within the Veterans Support Sector. Our aim is to bring about, positive Social and Economic change for the country as well as a significant
transformation of how Service leavers, Veterans, their families and communities are supported. We will do this through effective collaboration, communication and management of a number of services and departments, ranging from engaging with Government, The Third sector and also the supporters of, those who’ve served and often sacrificed so much for their country. We are currently supporting a number of service leavers and veterans with a range of issues ranging from housing, unemployment, benefits, personal development, education, and are constantly looking for employers who see the positives in recruiting and supporting individuals in to work to create longterm and sustainable futures.