A Captain Tom Day could help older people feel seen and heard
Written by First Choice Radio on 8 December 2021
That’s according to Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore
Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter hopes to start an annual fundraising event like Children In Need but which aims to empower older people.
Hannah Ingram-Moore, 49, said that the first Captain Tom Day could be held in June, with talks about the detail ongoing with national charities.
Sir Tom raised £38.9 million for the NHS, including Gift Aid, by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday at the height of the first national Covid-19 lockdown in April last year.
Ms Ingram-Moore said that her father, who died in February this year, had become a “hero for older people”.
But she said he told her that he had felt “invisible” after the death of his wife, and before moving in with Ms Ingram-Moore, her husband Colin and their children in 2007.
“He tried to get a job at 86 and people laughed at him,” Ms Ingram-Moore said, adding that her father found himself alone after the death of his wife in 2006 and he “wanted purpose”.
She said he applied without success for jobs in shops, warehousing and deliveries.
“He said ‘nobody even wanted to talk to me’,” she said.
Ms Ingram-Moore recalled a conversation with her father after he moved in with the family.
“He said to me ‘I’d started to feel invisible and you’ve given me my visibility back because now people don’t look through me, they look at me and I feel needed and I have purpose and I’m wanted’,” she said.
Ms Ingram-Moore said she was encouraged to take the idea of a Captain Tom Day forward following a conversation with broadcaster Esther Rantzen, who founded the Silver Line helpline for older people.
She said that Ms Rantzen “had this dream of creating a day that would replicate Children In Need, Comic Relief but for our ageing population and for connecting those younger people with older people”.
She said Captain Tom Day would involve “multiple activities, action, movement” and that meetings are ongoing to decide the shape of it.
She also wants to launch a Captain Tom Award for Innovation.
“We want to celebrate and empower our ageing population while connecting the generations,” said Ms Ingram-Moore.
“I feel like we’re starting a revolution that will allow our growing older generation to feel seen and heard and valued in a way that I don’t think we do right now.”
The initial charity partners of The Captain Tom Foundation, set up by Sir Tom and his family before his death, were Mind, The Royal British Legion, Willen Hospice and Helen And Douglas House children’s hospice.
Ms Ingram-Moore said the foundation “won’t be directly supporting them any more” but “we will obviously continue to have a relationship with them”.
She said she believes the foundation has “found a place where we can have that greatest positive impact on society”.
“My measure of course is what would he have thought about it, and I just know… that he would have loved it,” she said.
“I genuinely talk to him about it in my head and he would have just said ‘that’s it Hannah, you’ve got it’, because he felt that he had become invisible until he came here, and I think he would feel so proud that we were trying to tackle that stigma and give older people a voice.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub