Coronavirus: Boris Johnson to 'recognise' hero Captain Tom Moore after he raises £18m for NHS

·2-min read

Captain Tom Moore, the Second World War veteran who has raised more than £18m for the NHS, will receive recognition for his "heroic efforts" from the prime minister, Downing Street has said.

The 99-year-old originally aimed to raise £1,000 through his JustGiving page to help the fight against the coronavirus pandemic - but his actions have now led to a petition for him to be knighted after donations rocketed.

Responding online to the Change.org petition, Number 10 said Boris Johnson "will certainly be looking at ways to recognise Tom for his heroic efforts" after the online campaign received more than 500,000 signatures.

Cpt Moore has been walking 25m lengths of his family's garden in Bedfordshire and originally set himself the target of 100 laps, reaching his goal on Thursday.

He has vowed to carry on for as long as the donations keep coming in. The challenge to walk 100 laps was to mark his upcoming 100th birthday on 30 April.

A Number 10 spokesman wrote on Change.org: "Tom has captured the heart of the nation with his heroic efforts and raised an incredible amount of money for hard working NHS staff.

"He has embodied the spirit of the whole country in doing their bit for the battle against coronavirus to support the NHS and save lives.

"From his military contributions to his support for NHS staff, Tom has demonstrated a lifetime of bravery and compassion.

"The PM will certainly be looking at ways to recognise Tom for his heroic efforts."

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told Sky News Cpt Moore is a "tremendous gentleman".

"He really truly is a British champion and I think has given people a sense of hope, that somebody who has seen so much, and been through so much can take such a positive attitude."

Mr Shapps said he would not want to "pre-empt" the Queen's New Year's Honours List but said "it is quite clear that this gentleman has been almost the salvation of the nation in these difficult times."

The Duke of Cambridge and Duchess of Cornwall have written to Cpt Moore and William has also made an undisclosed donation to the appeal, Kensington Palace said.

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Money raised for NHS Charities Together will pay for care packs for staff, electronic devices for patients to keep in touch with family members and support groups for those recovering from coronavirus.

Cpt Moore has achieved the highest total raised by an individual on JustGiving.

Stephen Sutton MBE, a blogger and charity activist, raised £5m for the Teenage Cancer Trust before his death in 2014.

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