You know you’ve made it when Captain Sir Tom Moore calls you inspirational and that’s what the 100-year-old icon makes of a challenge run by charity Lord’s Taverners, writes Tom Harle.
Captain Tom touched the world with 100 laps of his garden which raised £32 million for the NHS and now he’s supporting a Three Peaks Challenge with an incredible twist.
Fundraiser Lloyd Scott will wear a deep-sea diving suit weighing 60kg when scaling Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon to raise money for disabled and disadvantaged children.
“Lloyd's challenge is brilliant and has my full support," said Captain Tom.
"I've done a fair bit of walking myself recently – but I've always said that I'll keep going, and I'll be thinking of him as he goes higher and higher up the mountains.
"It's terrible that so many young people are depressed at the moment. When you're young, you shouldn't be depressed.
"You should look forward to the fact that the world is your oyster – go out and open it. But if your mind is so closed down with depression, you're going to find that difficult.
"Lord's Taverners are there to give a little bit of help wherever they can and whenever they can. That's really what we're trying to do."
Scott visited Captain Tom at his famous Bedfordshire home as part of his final preparations for the challenge, starting in Scotland on October 4.
The fundraiser, who famously finished the 2002 London Marathon in a deep-sea diving suit, joined the newly-knighted pensioner on his daily walk.
The unlikely pair found time for a race over 20 metres with Taverners President and cricketing legend David Gower watching on.
“I couldn't think of anyone better than Captain Tom to endorse what I'm doing,” said Scott, who has crossed Australia on a penny farthing and completed an underwater marathon.
"He brought the nation, if not the planet, together and it takes a very special person to achieve that. To have his support means the world to me.
“I know there will be difficult times ahead when I will be lonely in that deep-sea diving helmet, but the cause and his support, helping the lonely, disadvantaged and disabled children will be something that will be spurring me on every step."
The next challenge for the indomitable Captain is the launch of The Captain Tom Foundation, which will work for causes like combating loneliness, supporting the bereaved and championing education.
Isolation is a key focus for Lord’s Taverners, who helped more than 10,000 people take part in disability cricket in 2019 but have found loneliness in vulnerable young people to become even more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gower said: “Captain Tom understands that loneliness creeps in at a certain age – but it can strike at any age.
“Thousands of disabled and disadvantaged young people have been isolated by the pandemic and we as a charity have been limited by what we can do to help people.
“To have someone as inspirational as Tom, at his age, to be using the phrase ‘tomorrow will be a good day’ is very, very valuable.”
Lloyd Scott will be tackling the 3 Peaks Challenge in a deep sea diving suit to raise money and awareness to help disadvantaged and disabled young people, who are battling loneliness and isolation during the Covid pandemic. Visit www.lordstaverners.org to make a donation.