Young Sunderland cousins' touching homage to Captain Tom raises hundreds for NHS
A family inspired to raise money for the NHS by Captain Tom Moore have collected more than double their original target – and are still going.
Cousins Jack Berry and Maisie Jones initially hoped to hand over £500 to Sunderland Royal Hospital by completing a 100,000-step challenge.
Within about a week the pair had already received donations worth more than £1,100 and, as of Monday, April 27, had walked almost 140,000 steps between them.
The effort is more impressive considering Jack being autistic means even leaving his South Hylton home can be difficult, but they have shown no sign of stopping just yet.
“They’ve finished but they both want to continue,” said Jack’s mum, Sara.
“Someone told Jack a ventilator costs about £13,000, he doesn’t think he will raise that, but he still wants the hospital to get some life-saving equipment.
“We’ve said as a family, the NHS doesn’t give up on us so we don’t want to give up on them.”
She added: “They’ve both done something amazing and to be proud of – it doesn’t matter if it’s £5 or £5 million.
“Jack is autistic and doesn’t have the best social interaction skills, so for him this is quite big.”
Captain Tom raised more than £29million for the NHS after his own challenge to complete 100 laps of his garden before turning 100.
His birthday, on Thursday (April 30) is now due to be marked with an RAF flypast.
The WW2 veteran’s efforts inspired Jack, 13, and Maisie, eight, to embark on their own fundraiser for Sunderland Royal Hospital, where Jack is a ‘frequent visitor’.
The paid are now aiming to complete 200,000 steps.
Philip Bithell, a fundraiser at Sunderland and South Tyneside NHS Foundation trust, said: “We are thrilled that Jack and Maisie want to do their 100,000-step challenge in aid of the Trust and we wish them all the luck in the world.
“Through the generosity of fundraisers, such as Jack and Maisie, we are able to invest in patient care and support for our outstanding teams who are working around the clock during this unprecedented time.”