Thank you, Sir Tom Moore

*image from @britishgq on instagram

It’s been under an hour since the news of Sir Tom Moore’s death broke. I gasped aloud when I saw it and knew that today would mark a sad day for England. Sir Tom captured the nation’s heart last spring, raising over £33million for the NHS, and will certainly remain in a special place for many. The incredible veteran inspired so many as he strived to complete the laps around his garden, and we all sat in awe as the donations piled whilst he turned 100 years old. The actions of Sir Tom brought some light to the pandemic, and was a figurehead to show even the simplest ways of helping out can turn into something that will be remembered for years and years to come.

The achievements of Sir Tom remind me of how important it is to come together and, most importantly, look out for each other, supporting those who need it. Everyone may not be able to raise millions of pounds for charity, but we can all do small things to help those around us. If you feel you are able to, raising funds is a brilliant idea, as many charities and organisations are currently struggling. I know a few friends who are running or walking to raise money, similarly to Sir Tom last year. This is a fun way to efficiently raise money and awareness, and can make a much bigger difference than you at first imagine. Of course it is completely down to preference, but if you are going to take part in something like this, I would recommend looking for charities local to you who will really, really appreciate your support.

Obviously, it’s not just charities who need your support. Individuals, and especially those around you, need it too. I’m sure many of you are in the routine of checking in with those close to you, as it really does make a difference. A simple ‘good morning/night’ or ‘how are you?’ text can change someone’s day. For some people, these questions may seem slightly robotic, or impersonal and, especially due to the length of lockdown, can start to feel too repetitive. Similarly, when you aren’t physically with friends or family, it is a lot easier to hide whether someone is coping or not. Recently, I’ve been trying to find questions that stimulate proper conversation and make it easier to truly check in on someone. Asking ‘what did you do today?’, ‘how were your lessons?’ or ‘what are your plans for tomorrow’ are just some of the ways I try to ask ‘how are you’ without explicitly saying it. Even a simple ‘I miss you and hope to see you soon’ can remind someone that you’re there for them. As of now, we still have the one other person exercise ‘rule’ so, if you can, I recommend seeing someone. I recently went for a walk with my friend and it completely lifted my weekend. Ultimately, it’s important we remain in contact with each other and don’t be afraid to reach out if you are someone that ends up finding yourself isolated.

Sir Tom showed us the power one person’s kindness can have, and that is something I aim to emulate everyday. He showed us all goodwill, strength and determination and spread joy across the country. The enthusiastic spirit he brought the country is what we need to find again in order to conquer this virus once and for all. Thank you, Sir Tom.

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