For Captain Tom’s sake, let’s defeat loneliness during the Christmas campaign.
This winter, the Daily Express and Mind have teamed up to bring mental health to the forefront of the national debate.
Our By Your Side Christmas campaign aims to raise a significant amount of money so that the UK’s leading mental health charity can continue to provide life-saving support.
Captain Sir Tom Moore, my father, moved in with my family and me when he was 87 years old.
“I was invisible to the world until I moved in here,” he said quietly after a few weeks.
You’ve resurrected my visibility.”
It was quiet determination that propelled my father as he walked his laps around our garden for the first time.
Determination to show that he could not only physically rehabilitate himself, but also that he could still have a positive impact on society, even if he was only thinking about raising a small amount of money at the time.
And £38.9 million later, he was walking, not for himself, but for the thousands of people who told him his story empowered them and made them feel less alone during lockdown.
The pandemic exacerbated our mental health crisis, disproportionately affecting those who were already suffering from inequalities.
These were the people to whom my father’s story was addressed.
What he accomplished inspired those who had felt overlooked and unheard.
My father was passionate about supporting mental health in this spirit of overcoming isolation and encouraging open dialogue.
Both in the older generation, where he had firsthand experience with the difficulties of losing a partner and feeling invisible, and throughout society.
At The Captain Tom Foundation, we’re carrying on his legacy of inspiring hope where it’s most needed and encouraging intergenerational connection so that fewer people feel alone and helpless.
As the November lockdown approached, we organized Walk With Tom to encourage people to get outside and speak with relatives, friends, or neighbors who might be feeling isolated.
Even though we aren’t on lockdown this year, I encourage you to do the same as we approach the months when many people can feel lonely.
And if you think you’re having problems with your mental health, know that you have the right to seek help, and that help is available, including from wonderful organizations like Mind.
My father wanted to make certain that the answer was no.
“News from the Brinkwire.”