A Year 11 pupil from Bedford School is the brains behind the amazing fund-raising story that is currently sweeping the nation.
Benjamin Ingram-Moore is the grandson of nonagenarian Captain Tom Moore, who has currently raised almost £7.5m (and counting) for NHS Charities Together.
Captain Tom, 99, was due to celebrate his 100th birthday with a party later this month but his plans were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Instead he decided to mark the milestone by helping to raise money for the many thousands of healthcare staff working to save lives across the UK.
His grandson, Benjamin Ingram-Moore, currently in Year 11 at Bedford School, came up with the challenge of walking 100 lengths of the 25m-long garden in Marston Moretaine for an initial target of £1,000.
Capt Moore’s feat has captured the hearts of the nation and he has significantly smashed his original fundraising goal.
Benjie said, “We originally just wanted to do our bit and try to raise £1,000.
“The fundraising support has been phenomenal, and we surpassed the £2.2million mark in just a week. It’s been incredible. We are currently the biggest fundraiser for the NHS in the world.
“The support I have had from my friends at Bedford School has been amazing and I can’t thank them enough.”
Capt Moore’s Twitter account, set up and managed by Benjie, has more than 71k followers, including celebrities such as Lord Sugar and Piers Morgan – who has personally donated £10,000 to the fundraiser – and with worldwide support he has more than smashed his target.
Now, Benjie is using his new-found relationships with these famous faces to ask them to record video messages wishing his grandfather a happy 100th birthday.
Alongside studying at Bedford School, Benjie works as a social media executive at Maytrix Group – a company which is run by his parents.
He has used his experience in social media as well as his contacts from the school cricket team to ask celebrities to record video messages for his grandad who was stationed in India during the Second World War.
He added: “We have already received messages on Twitter from Jason Donovan, Anton du Beke, Ian Poulter and Dame Kelly Holmes to name just a few.
“Our goal is to receive 100 before grandad’s birthday on 30 April so we can edit them into one big video as a surprise.
“I think he will be blown away by the quality of the messages from celebrities we have been sent. It’ll put a big smile on his face and that’s what matters.”
James Hodgson, Head Master of Bedford School said, “We are incredibly proud of Benjie and everything that he and his family have achieved. As a school we always encourage our boys to give something back, and Benjie has risen to this challenge with gusto.”
To donate, you can visit Capt Moore’s Justgiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tomswalkforthenhs
* We just knew we’d have to update the fundraising total. At 9.30pm tonight (Wednesday), Captain Tom’s JustGiving page was nearing an incredible £10m.