Captain Tom Says Thank You

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captain tom in his garden
Photo by Emma Sohl and Capture the Light Photography

One very old man in the United Kingdom wanted to say thank you to health workers during the coronavirus crisis. Colin Lowther and Liz Waid tell about Captain Tom’s special thank you.

Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Colin Lowther.

Voice 2 

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 1 

Think about a time when someone helped you in a big way. You probably wanted to say thank you to that person in a special way. We all want to say thank you sometimes!

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Voice 2 

In the United Kingdom, one very old man decided to say thank you in an interesting way. He wanted to thank the doctors and nurses who helped him when he was sick. But Tom Moore did not just want to say ‘thank you’. He wanted to do something. What he did had amazing results. And it encouraged people around the world as they all faced a difficult time. Today’s Spotlight is on Tom Moore and his special ‘thank you’.

Voice 1 

Tom Moore was born in April, 1920. At age 98, he fell and broke his hip bone. He received treatment from the doctors and nurses of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.

Captain Tom walking
Photo by Emma Sohl and Capture the Light Photography; used by permission
Voice 2 

By 2020 he was back at home with his family. He had recovered well. But he now had to use a walker. This special frame, or support, helped him walk. He wanted to say a special ‘thank you’ to the doctors and nurses who had helped him to recover.

Voice 1 

But at this time people around the world were suffering from the COVID19 virus. This coronavirus could be deadly. In the United Kingdom, the government told everyone to stay at home. They said people needed to stay at home to protect the health service. Doctors and nurses were very busy in hospitals taking care of people who were sick and dying from the coronavirus. If too many people became sick the health service would not be able to serve everyone. More people would die.

Voice 2 

So like everyone else Moore had to stay at home. But he wanted to raise £1000 for charities to help doctors and nurses. He knew that they needed special support during the coronavirus crisis. So he decided that he would walk 100 times around the garden at his home. He wanted to do this before his 100th birthday. He would ask people to give money while he walked.

Voice 1 

So on the 9th of April his family launched a JustGiving fundraiser. JustGiving is an online tool that helps people raise money for good causes.

Voice 2 

Local newspapers and television reported the story. People reacted immediately and started to give money to his cause. In just one day the family had to increase the target to £100,000.

Voice 1 

The next day, Moore appeared on national BBC television. He wanted people to help him support the doctors and nurses of the health service. By this time, everyone knew that Moore had been a soldier and called him ‘Captain Tom’. As a soldier, he had experienced rough and difficult times in his long life. Because of this, the BBC asked him if he could encourage people about the future. He replied,

Voice 3 

‘Remember, tomorrow is a good day. Tomorrow you will perhaps discover everything will be much better than today.’

Voice 2 

People across the country loved what he said. And they loved what he was doing. Every day, Captain Tom slowly walked in his garden. Every day, people quickly gave money. By April 14th, 2020 he had raised £1,000,000. It had only been five days! Money continued to come. Captain Tom was surprised but pleased and said,

Voice 3 

‘Three, four, five million. I turn my back for a few minutes, and it has gone up again.’

Captain Tom on his 100th birthday
Photo by Emma Sohl and Capture the Light Photography; used by permission
Voice 1 

People saw Captain Tom as a point of light in dark days of coronavirus. Every day, people had seen reports of increasing numbers of deaths from coronavirus. Now every day they watched the increasing amount of money Captain Tom raised. He was giving them hope when they needed it.

Voice 2 

On April 16th, Captain Tom completed his official walk. He had raised over 12 million pounds. People from over 50 countries had given money. He had inspired and encouraged people around the world. From India to Saudi Arabia people reported the good news of his achievement. The head of the World Health Organisation said it united people.

Voice 1 

Captain Tom kept walking. By his 100th birthday on the 30th of April he had raised over 31 million pounds. He had given people something positive to concentrate on. Now they wanted to say ‘thank you’ to him.

Voice 2 

About 140,000 people sent him cards for his 100th birthday. Airplanes flew over his home. A train was named after him. Artists produced many works of art in his honour. Many famous people sent him special messages. The UK Prime Minister recorded a message for him that said,

Voice 4 

‘Your heroic efforts have lifted the spirits of the whole nation. You are a point of light in all our lives.’

Voice 1 

On the 17th of July, a few months later, the Queen thanked Captain Tom in a very special way. She knighted him. This is the highest honour in the UK. It means he is now called Captain Sir Thomas Moore.

Mural of Captain Tom in Yorkshire, England
Captain Tom mural on the side of the Maltshovel, Beastfair, Pontefract, West Yorkshire
By Mtaylor848 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0
Voice 2 

Captain Sir Tom had raised over 32 million pounds. This money came from over one and a half million supporters in 53 different countries. It was the largest single JustGiving appeal. The money raised supported the well-being of doctors, nurses and patients. It bought simple things that made their lives easier in a difficult time. For example, it bought food and drink, quiet rooms, and cream to heal hands made rough from washing.

Voice 1 

During the coronavirus crisis many people were inspired by Captain Tom. They followed his example. Some people did their own walks to raise money for good causes. But everyone can help in some way during a crisis. Help can come in the form of a letter or a simple telephone call asking how someone is doing. Sometimes people feel that they cannot do anything to help. But we must remember that simple offers of help can have big results.

Voice 2 

Have you ever said ‘thank you’ to someone who helped you in a difficult time? How have you helped someone else? Tell us about it. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at contact@spotlightenglish.com. Visit us on YouTube at youtube.com/spotlightenglish1.

Voice 1 

The writer of this programme was Katy Blake. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United Kingdom and the United States. All quotes were adapted for this programme and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this programme again, and read it, on the internet at www.spotlightenglish.com. This programme is called ‘Captain Tom Says Thank You’.

Voice 2 

Visit our website to download our free official App for Android and Apple devices. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight programme. Goodbye.

You can donate to the Captain Tom Foundation at www.captaintom.org

Question:

Have you ever wanted to say a special thank you to someone who helped you? How did you thank them? Has someone ever thanked you in a special way?

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15 comments
  • Yes i need to say thank you soooo much for doctor fahad al habshan pedia cardiology consultant cuz he is the one descover my baby medical situation and he is the one supported and helped me to did his open heart surgery immediately cua he needs to did urgent cuz my son situation was very bad he had a three hals and pulmonary hypertension was moderate in this time i don’t no what i have to do cuz my son insurance card not covered any cardiology center he is given me full support to did this operation and my son revoked well
    Really thank you

  • Yes I daily says thank you to people help me. But I am am really sad for my country where people are not eager to help each other.They are pulling legs of each other in the race of getting money. But I hope that they will realize the facts about helping needy.We salute the spirit of captain Tom and the people of UK .Again Thank you Liz and Adam for such wonderful story.

  • Ausum story,I wanna say thanks alot to my
    god for giving me every thing Thanks to my self .Thanks to my parents and thankyou to any good person that make helps to others in the world

  • Actually I wanna thank you for all your splendid episodes. You are very amazing and each programmes are very very wow and so fabulous. So my English language not perfect but you help me improve it and increase it . Thank you again.

  • When i was a kid my aunt helped me for education fee and now i will help my niece in the sane way ( my aunt passed away 20 years ago)

  • I have thanked anytime that I may do it. It’s important to recognize that how people are too special to us before they say goodbye. I enjoy to express how much I am so pleased to have them in my life. I have many awesome people that encourage me to keep living every day.

  • Yes I want to say thank you to the teacher Qasim because he help me to be batter than before and he give me many suggestions about how to start Learning English and Now Iam very good than before
    Thank you teacher Qasim.

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