Tens of thousands of stamps have been donated to charities – including Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger – thanks to Captain Tom Moore.
Volunteers from Bedford School painstakingly removed the stamps from the envelopes of more than 160,000 cards sent to Captain Moore from all over the world to mark his 100th birthday.
Bedford School, which is attended by Captain Moore’s grandson Benjie Ingram-Moore, turned into a temporary sorting office when it received mountains of cards wishing the war veteran a happy 100th birthday.
Staff, parents, pupils and Old Bedfordians spent a staggering 1,750 hours opening more than 160,000 birthday cards to put on display in the Great Hall – all while carefully setting aside the stamped envelopes.
The collected stamps have now been donated to two charities: locally based Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger and the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
Susie Spyropoulos, Teacher of Geography and Head of Charities at Bedford School, said, “It was important for us as a school to donate the stamps to charitable causes.
“It was the natural step to maintain the phenomenal work that Captain Tom has undertaken in raising nearly £33million for NHS charities.
“His family was keen that we use them to help causes both locally and nationally.
“We hope this donation helps both charities continue to provide their vital services for people in need.”
In April, Captain Moore achieved global notoriety when he walked 100 lengths of his garden for charity during the coronavirus lockdown.
It is not yet known how much each charity will receive from the stamps which are bought by dealers who pick out any unusual or valuable ones to sell to collectors. The rest are then sold for crafting or paper recycling.
Tori Ablard, Head of Hospice Fundraising at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, said, “Thank you so much to Captain Tom Moore and Bedford School for this fantastic donation.
“It is the gift that keeps on giving; not only has Captain Moore raised a phenomenal amount of money for NHS charities, but by donating his 100th birthday card stamps to us he will also raise vital funds for our hospice.
“The money raised will make sure we can continue to offer our expert palliative care and be there when it matters for people at the most difficult time of their lives.”
Becca McRow-Brewer, RNIB Senior Manager, Community Giving, thanks Bedford School and Captain Moore for the stamps donation. She added: “Stamps make a real difference as RNIB recycles them into much needed funds.
“Over two million people with sight loss in the UK are facing huge challenges during the coronavirus crisis, and these funds will go a long way to help give blind and partially sighted people the practical advice, local connections and reading services they need at this uncertain time.”