Blackpool Tower was among the famous landmarks across the country that lit up blue in tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore last night.
Other notable landmarks choosing to pay their respects by beaming a coloured lights far and wide included the London Eye and Wembley Stadium, along with a tribute broadcast on billboards at Piccadilly Circus, and a number of local tributes observed by town halls and central buildings throughout the UK.
Union flags were also seen to have been flown at half mast at several locations across the country, including No.10 Downing Street.
It had been confirmed last Sunday that Captain Tom was receiving treatment for pneumonia after testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), and had been admitted to Bedford Hospital for “help with his breathing”, where he later died two days after admission.
He was 100 years old.
In a statement released yesterday, his daughters Hannah Ingram-Moore and Lucy Teixeira, said: “We are so grateful that we were with him during the last hours of his life – Hannah, Benjie and Georgia by his bedside and Lucy on FaceTime.
“We spent hours chatting to him, reminiscing about our childhood and our wonderful mother [and] we shared laughter and tears together.”
They added: “Whilst he’d been in so many hearts for just a short time, he was an incredible father and grandfather, and he will stay alive in our hearts forever.”
The World War II veteran truly captured the hearts of the nation in April 2020 after he raised over £32 million for NHS Charities Together by walking 100 laps his garden before becoming a centenarian, which he completed with a guard of honour.
After first receiving a title of honorary colonel, Sir Tom was then knighted by the Queen during a unique open-air ceremony at Windsor Castle in July last year.
His official title then became Captain Sir Thomas Moore under Ministry of Defence protocol.
The impact his achievements left on the UK were also demonstrated through a documentary on his life being commissioned by ITV, the release of a book, a number one single with Michael Ball, and even the honour of a Pride of Britain Award for his fundraising efforts.
His family said the last year of his life was “nothing short of remarkable”, and that he had “experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of”.
Several notable charities and organisations have vowed that his legacy will live on “for years and years”.
Ellie Orton – Chief Executive of NHS Charities Together – said Captain Tom “lifted the spirits of an entire nation” and demonstrated that “you’re never too old, you’re never too anything to care for people and to make a difference”.
The Captain Tom Foundation – which was set up to support causes close to Sir Tom’s heart – said its work would “aspire to ensure Tom’s message of hope becomes an enduring legacy”.
“Whilst we mourn his loss, we celebrate his life and will be forever grateful for his optimistic philosophy and wonderful spirit,” a statement said.
“Thank you Captain Sir Tom.
“Because of you tomorrow will be a good day for so many more.”
His death prompted heartfelt messages and tributes to pour in from right around the world.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the veteran as “not just a national inspiration, but a beacon of hope for the world”.
Buckingham Palace said the Queen would be sending a private message of condolence to Sir Tom’s family, adding: “Her thoughts, and those of the royal family, are with them, recognising the inspiration he provided for the whole nation and others across the world.”
The White House also joined the tributes by saying the US joined the UK “in honouring the memory of Captain Sir Tom Moore, who inspired millions through his life and his actions”.
Here in Greater Manchester, tributes to Captain Tom were payed on social media yesterday by numerous notable local figures and leaders, local councils, charities and organisations, sports teams, and civilians alike.
His memory will live on.
Liam Fray is playing a one-off charity gig to raise money for Manchester’s homeless community
Liam Fray is playing a one-off charity gig to raise money for Greater Manchester’s homeless population early next year.
Hosting just the second ‘Raise the Roof’ fundraising concert in over three years – the pandemic having put a pause on the initiative – the money generated will go towards providing a safe place to sleep to thousands in around the Manchester area.
The Middleton-born musician confirmed the date on Tuesday.
While Fray is currently the only name confirmed to be playing this year’s gig, his popularity in the city alone is sure to drive thousands to iconic Manchester venue for this great cause.
Most importantly, not only will all ticket sales go towards the A Bed Every Night drive, but so too will the proceeds from the re-release of the band’s debut album, St Jude, dropping on the same day as the gig.
The Mayor’s Charity has held a number of hugely successful campaigns already this year, including their annual 24 Run Against Homelessness as well as Mayor Andy Burnham‘s second night DJing at the one and only Warehouse Project.
Speaking in an official press release, Burnham spoke about the spoke about “the power of music to get people together and raise vital funds” for causes like combatting homelessness.
He went on to say that despite all the money already raised this year, “there’s more still to do and we know the cost of living crisis has started to impact on people’s housing”, adding: “We’re a musical city, so what better way to help those who need it but with a night with the incredible Liam Fray.”
Responding to Burnham’s thanks on Twitter, Fray had a simple message:
Over 4,000 unique individuals have been supported by A Bed Every Night since 2019, with more than 600 people now supplied with accommodation across the region who would otherwise be at risk of sleeping rough.
The Mayor’s campaign works with 21 different organisations across Greater Manchester helping provide a safe place to sleep to the homeless and those in needs on a regular basis. Wonderful stuff.
How to help in Manchester if you see someone homeless in the freezing cold
Whilst much has been done over the past few years to improve options for people who find themselves homeless in Greater Manchester, it’s still a huge problem – felt especially hard when the temperature drops.
The Met Office has forecast lows of -3 that will last across the weekend into early next week, whilst health officials have told people to put their heating on, despite rising costs. But some don’t even have the option to do that.
In the UK last year, 1,286 people died while homeless according to the Museum of Homelessness (MoH) Dying Homeless Project.
As a general rule, there are no legal protections for people sleeping rough in England. Most councils offer extra beds when temperatures are forecast to drop below 0ºC for three consecutive nights.
Fortunately here in Manchester, there is more support at hand.
What support does Manchester offer homeless people in freezing weather?
Manchester is the first major metropolitan area in the country to promise help as soon as the temperature drops below 0ºC.
Shelters are opened up in and around the city centre as soon as one night of freezing temperatures is forecast, and stay open until temperatures rise back up above zero, giving everyone a warm place to rest.
Accommodation varies from hostel ‘sit up’ spaces to an emergency shelter run by local charity Coffee4Craig for the council, where people are provided with sleeping bags, mats, armchairs and even a TV. And when space runs out in the hostels, people are given a hotel room for the night.
There is also the Mayor’s flagship A Bed Every Night scheme, which looks to offer a bed, hot meal and support for anyone sleeping rough in Greater Manchester at any time of year – regardless of the weather.
What can I do to help someone?
If you’re concerned about someone, you can contact your local authority via one of the numbers below.
Alternatively, you can use this tool to view the services on offer in your area.