July 2020 Update

'WE STOOD SHOULDER TO SHOULDER AS A FAMILY AND FAILURE WAS NOT AN OPTION.'

With some easing of lockdown the club has continued to meet via zoom for council and business meetings during July, with the addition of smaller working groups to meet socally and investigate alternative initiatives to take the club forward. 

With news of our grandmother club at Windermere closing, a subcommittee has been formed in the hope of expanding our membership into Windermere. With a number of our members already living in that area it would seem very sensible to consider holding regular meetings in Windermere as well at Ambleside. Watch this space!

We have been delighted to be offered the Bowness Bay Water Aid collection box, previously administered by the Windermere Club. In need of a revamp we are already moving forward with a new design fascia and are delighted to have such positive support from Windermere Cruises for this revamped initiative.

On 28th July our members watched the Rotary RIBI YouTube website as it streamed the outstanding story of Sir Thomas Moore affectionally known to all as ‘Captain Tom’.  There can be few who are not aware of this former British Army officer and centenarian, known for his achievements raising money for charity in the run-up to his 100th birthday during the CV19 pandemic.

His daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore took us back to 6 April 2020, when at the age of 99, her father began to walk laps of his garden in aid of NHS Charities Together, with the goal of raising £1,000 by his hundredth birthday. Hannah had contacted Anglia Television who ran a small news item about his proposed fundraising which swiftly lead to the BBC and World Service taking up the story.

In the 24 days of his fundraising he made many media appearances and became a popular household name in the UK and around the world, not only generating interest in his life story and earning a number of accolades but attracting over 1.5 million individual donations. We were told that 90,000 people were trying to donate to his Just Giving page at one point with 163 out of 195 countries donating to the appeal.

Hannah spoke with passion as she told of the impact the fund raising had on their family which had no personal journalistic training – trying to give 3 media interviews at once was nicknamed ‘CNN Gate’ as the media schedule grew and her email box was bursting with requests for interviews etc. They had to deal with fraudulent fund raising sites being set up in her father’s name as each day things got bigger and more difficult to control. Clearly Capt Tom has passed on his ‘can do’ attitude to his daughter and grandchildren. As Hannah said, we stood shoulder to shoulder as a family and failure was not an option.

When asked ‘who inspired Tom?’  Her reply was immediate, ‘his mother, father, grandfather & Uncle Billy - who had a love of motorbikes!’ (Tom also became an avid motorcyclist.)  Her father would also insist that we never say ‘life used to be better - it wasn’t and believe in what you have got not what you haven’t got’

In those few short weeks by the morning of Capt Tom’s 100thbirthday the total raised by his walk passed £30 million and by the time the campaign closed at the end of that day had increased to over £32.79 million. (£38.9 million with Gift Aid) His birthday was marked in a number of ways, including flypasts by the RAF and the British Army. He received over 150,000 cards, and was appointed as Honorary Colonel of the Army Foundation College.

The donations have been carefully monitored and have benefitted not only the NHS Covid appeal but many other NHS charities. Sleeping pods were bought for staff, iPads for patients to allow them to communicate with families from their hospital beds, paramedics were bought extra equipment and so the list goes on.

The Ingram-Moores are a multi-generational family which benefits them all. Tom’s grandchildren keep him up to speed with the technical world as Tom in turn is a whizz at mending items for his grandchildren.

And the icing on Tom’s Cake must be the first individual investiture ever!  On 17th July 2020 he was invested as a Knight Bachelor at Windsor Castle. We were told it was a most magical moment. Tom had quipped that he couldn’t kneel for the investiture as he might not ever stand up again!

In finishing the interview Hannah spoke passionately about the Capt Tom Foundation which is being set up to help combat loneliness and isolation, to help hospices and those suffering from bereavement. It was the most incredibly inspiring zoom meeting.

Let’s hope that we all encourage their family’s outlook on life ‘The importance of Mental Resilience, to recognise multi-generational talent and to remember that life is everything and invest in others.’

Well done RIBI a brilliant YouTube video.