Capt Sir Tom raised £32million for NHS charities by walking laps around his garden, but he also did a whole lot more.  The money will eventually be  spent but the inspiration he left could have a lasting, ripple effect, particularly for older people.

When he began his laps around his garden, the response from around the world mirrored Leviticus 19:31 – everyone, from 6 year olds upwards rose in admiration for him.

He became a focus for many: he showed a ‘can do’ spirit that seemed to say in the war against Covid – we can do it!

His fighting spirit reflected the fact that he was an old soldier.

Yet he wasn’t a strong man.  At 99, he needed a walking frame, and his steps around his garden were laboured, but purposeful.  At his age, most of us would have thought that he was past it. But his family believed in him and his daughter was the first to put the notice up on Facebook.  They supported him the whole while.

More impressive even, than the £32 million raised for NHS charities, Capt Sir Tom showed that whatever your age, whatever your condition, there is something you can do to help and encourage others.

His story says –  believe in yourself at whatever age you are – don’t write yourself off as ‘past it’.

God bless you, Capt Sir Tom.

Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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