On Thursday, the Second World War veteran, who raised more than £32 million for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday during the first lockdown, launched a campaign called Walk With Tom.
The initiative, which has been organised through The Captain Tom Foundation – is designed to get as many people as possible walking and talking, with the aim of spreading hope and easing loneliness.
“I would like us all to stand shoulder to shoulder - metaphorically!” Sir Tom said.
“Let's try not to get downhearted, we will get through this, whatever is thrown at us and together we can ensure that tomorrow will be a good day.”
The foundation wants people to share their journeys, whether it be 100 laps like Sir Tom, a marathon or a toddler's first steps, using #walkwithTom to support each other's achievements.
Sir Tom’s daughter, Hannah Ingram-Moore, said that their family had been given the gift of a global platform, which they plan to do “powerfully positive things with”.
She added that as soon as the second lockdown was announced, people began asking what they planned to do.
“Within seconds of entering the supermarket we had been approached by several people who would say 'oh you're the daughter and granddaughter of Captain Sir Tom, what are we going to do, what impact is it going to have, will I be able to see my mum, will I be able to see my girlfriend, how are we going to cope, what are you going to do?',” Ingram-Moore said.
“And of course, I'm sure everyone has seen the fun images that have floated around of my father picking up his trainers again.”
While Sir Tom is unable to “pick up the mantle again”, his daughter said he aims to lead the charge with the launch of his new campaign.
“Let's pick up the phone, let's wave at someone through their window, let's talk, let's try to combat loneliness in this lockdown and let's walk,” she said.
“Imagine what we can achieve as a nation if we're walking and we're talking to people at the same time, even with the regulations of only walking with one other.”
She added that combatting loneliness is “so meaningful” to Sir Tom and “so poignant to us as a family” due to seeing his late wife Pamela in a care home.
“She would say to him 'I'm so glad you come and visit me every day because if you didn't I would be so lonely',” said Ms Ingram-Moore, adding that they realised some people in the care home never had visits.
“We feel that we have seen what terrible effects loneliness can have and we feel that we can really support and combat loneliness,” she said.
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