Captain Tom Moore invited to opening of new NHS hospital after raising more than £23m

‘I look forward to the honour,’ he says

Piccadilly Circus lights up for Captain Tom Moore

Captain Tom Moore, the 99-year-old who has raised more than £23m for the NHS, has been invited to the opening of a new Nightingale Hospital.

Robert Jenrick, the local government secretary, said the Second World War veteran will be the guest of honour at the opening of the emergency hospital in Harrogate next week.

He thanked Capt Moore – who raised millions for NHS Charities Together by walking 100 lengths of his garden – on Saturday for his fundraising efforts for the health service.

“We have all been humbled by the gestures, large and small, by people across the country to show support for those working so hard to protect the NHS and save lives,” Mr Jenrick said.

“None more so than Captain Tom Moore, who has raised an astonishing £23m this week for NHS charities.”

He added: “I can’t think of a more worthy person to be the guest of honour at the opening of the new Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate next week.”

Capt Moore said in a tweet: “I look forward to the honour.”

The 99-year-old completed his goal of walking 100 lengths of his Bedfordshire garden on Thursday, which he aimed to do before turning 100 years old at the end of April.

He initially hoped to raise £1,000 to support the NHS, and had received more than £23m in donations on his fundraising page by Saturday.

The new Nightingale Hospital in Harrogate is one of multiple emergency hospitals being built to help the UK cope with its coronavirus outbreak.

NHS England said they were “proud” to announce Capt Moore would participate in its opening on Tuesday.

“He’ll welcome #OurNHSPeople to the new hospital via a video link from his home,” they tweeted.

After finishing his challenge on Thursday, the veteran offered a message of hope as the country battles the coronavirus pandemic.

“At the end of the day we shall all be ok,” he said. “The sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away.”

More than 114,200 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK, according to health ministry figures on Saturday.

The death toll for hospitalised patients stood at 15,464 on Friday afternoon, the government said.

Press Association contributed to this report

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