Thank you Captain Sir Tom - look how he inspired the North East to do great things
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The people of Wearside, South Tyneside, Hartlepool and Northumberland ran, walked, knitted and painted for charity and every one of them was spurred on by the man who raised £33million for the NHS
With his message of positivity, he motivated a nation and the North East was no exception. Today, we look at the influence he had on us all.
In Sunderland, people took the message of Captain Sir Tom to their hearts.
Who can forget the fantastic fundraising of Sunderland youngster Jack Berry, 13, who set a target of walking 100,000 steps with his cousin Maisie Jones, 8, early in the pandemic.
Artist Andy Parkin, 58, from Seaburn, created a striking acrylic artwork of the war hero doing his laps.The A4 piece was signed and auctioned off to help raise funds for the NHS. But Andy’s work also became a hit on social media and got 40,000 likes on Facebook.
Just as creative was Sunderland dance teacher Lucie Webster who made a knitted Captain Tom.
In Hartlepool, the town embraced the spirit of warmth and helping others.
He raised more than 7,000 after originally setting a £500 target and said Captain Tom had been his inspiration.
In July 2020, 400 decorated stones were created by artistic villagers in Hart.
They were given a permanent home by being set in concrete within the grounds of Hart Primary School.
A little girl facing her own health battle took time to say happy birthday to Captain Sir Tom in April 2020.
Lyla O’Donovan, 7, whose dad Paul is from Hartlepool, has undergone life-threatening surgery, battled meningitis, been treated for hydrocephalus and had a shunt put into her head.
Also in Hartlepool, the effect of Captain Sir Tom’s fundraising was felt.
The North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust set up recharge hubs called Rainbow Rooms in the University Hospital of North Tees and University Hospital of Hartlepool. It’s a place where staff can go for a well-earned rest and the money came from the NHS Charities Grants, including some from Captain Sir Tom’s epic walk.
In Northumberland, Belford’s own Fred Sharples took inspiration from ‘Captain Tom,’ when he completed his own garden walk.
All this happened in the North East thanks to Captain Sir Tom. We salute him.