Happy 100th birthday Captain Tom!
Where do you start when it comes to talking about Captain Tom Moore?
Almost everyone I am sure has now heard of Captain Tom Moore, the inspirational veteran who decided to use his period of isolation resulting from the Coronavirus outbreak, to raise £1000 for the NHS by completing 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday.
The story immediately captured people’s hearts and turned into an overnight viral sensation. His efforts have since gone on to not only raise around £30m for charity (a feat which has seen him secure the Guinness World Record title for the most money raised by an individual through a walk), but he’s also topped the UK charts with his cover version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone” performed with Michael Ball and the NHS Voices of Care Choir, plus he’s received a Pride of Britain Award to boot.
As well as the phenomenal outpouring of admiration, support and love that Captain Tom has rightly received since he first came to the nation’s attention in early April 2020, what has also struck me about the response to his endeavours is that it illustrates the wonderful attributes that we know are possessed by so many of our veterans and how much this can catch the imagination and strike the heart of the public in the UK.
Just like Captain Tom, regardless of age, years of service, rank or file, anyone who has served in the armed forces will have a range of laudable qualities, such as self-motivation, a ‘can-do’ attitude, great organisational and team skills and a sense of humour, coupled with a desire to do their best and to help others, to name just a few.
To witness this in action, we just need to look at the outstanding efforts we are seeing from our serving and ex-forces personnel in tackling the Covid-19 crisis, whether that be in terms of carrying out essential screening tests, to building and manning the lifesaving Nightingale facilities, or widespread volunteering to support the NHS and local communities.
At RFEA we are fortunate to see the fantastic skills of our veteran community on a daily basis, through our work to help around 20,000 ex-forces find their way into meaningful employment. Owing to the outstanding achievements of Captain Tom Moore, we very much hope to see even more employers realise the phenomenal contributions that our ex-Forces men and women make to the workforce, our communities and beyond.
On behalf of everyone at RFEA, I’d like to say a huge thank you to Captain Tom for everything he has done and wish him a very happy 100th birthday!
Alistair Halliday, Chief Executive