Beds, Herts & Bucks

Captain Tom Moore raises nearly £33m as NHS appeal closes

Captain Tom Moore Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Captain Tom Moore said being made an honorary colonel on his 100th birthday was the "icing on the cake"

Captain Tom Moore's extraordinary fundraising efforts have come to an end raising nearly £33m for the NHS.

The war veteran had initially hoped to raise £1,000 by completing 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden by the time he reached his 100th birthday.

His donation page closed at midnight on Thursday at the end of his birthday, totalling £32,794,701 from more than 1.5m supporters.

A message on the page said he was now "putting his feet up".

Capt Tom began raising funds for NHS Charities Together 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 hoped to walk 100 laps of the 25-metre (82ft) loop in his garden in Marston Moretaine, in 10-lap chunks, before 30 April but completed his challenge on 17 April.

On that day, when the amount raised rose to £17m, JustGiving confirmed it was the largest total ever raised in a single campaign on its site and was "the fastest growing campaign on the platform".

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Captain Tom Moore received a personalised card from the Queen for his 100th birthday

As the fund reached £30m on his birthday, the charity's chief executive Ellie Orton said "what he has achieved will make a lasting difference".

"We cannot thank him enough for all that he's achieved... look forward to continuing to ensure that what he's done is used to improve the lives of the NHS staff and volunteers that are giving so much to their communities at the moment," she said.

With his page now closed, a message on the site said: "You can still help provide essential support for NHS staff and volunteers by making a donation to the charity through their JustGiving page."

Through his efforts, Capt Tom, who was born in Keighley, in what was then the West Riding of Yorkshire, captured the hearts of the nation and his birthday celebrations were extensive, with the occasion marked with an RAF flypast and birthday greetings from the Queen and prime minister.

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Media captionCaptain Tom: Cockpit view of RAF flypast in Marston Moretaine

He was also made an honorary colonel, by the 1st Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, in which he had served during World War Two and received an estimated 140,000 cards.

In a tweet, he said: "What a wonderful day full of well wishes, kindness and plenty of cake!"

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption The birthday cards sent to Capt Tom ahead of his birthday are on show at Bedford School
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