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Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter talks to ME & MY MONEY

On the march: Captain Sir Tom Moore

It is one year since Captain Sir Tom Moore died aged 100 of Covid after raising £40million for NHS Charities Together during the pandemic. 

Now his daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore is hoping to raise £300,000 as part of ‘Captain Tom Day’, an annual fundraising event in June similar to Children In Need, which celebrates and empowers older people. 

She spoke to Donna Ferguson about what her father taught her about money and the legacy the great man left her. 

What did your parents teach you about money? 

That you make your own luck and it was up to me to create a financially secure future for myself. My father, Captain Tom, believed in working hard and making the most of life. 

I was born when he was in his 50s and working as a managing director for a concrete business. My mother, 16 years his junior, had been an office manager – that’s how they met – but once she had children, she became a stay-at-home mother. 

Financially, we lived within our means and I suppose we were comfortable. We never felt we needed anything, but we never felt like we had it all. We were always made aware there were people who had more – or less – than us, and that money doesn’t grow on trees. 

What was Captain Tom’s approach to money? 

MY father was of the ‘make do and mend’ mentality. We’d take our rubbish to the dump and come back with just as much stuff – and repair it. I gained a pram for my doll, a bike, a scooter and all sorts of other things. He was practical and did not like to throw anything away he could reuse. 

For example, when a spark plug needed to be changed in the car, he wouldn’t buy a new one. He taught me how to take it out, dry it with a blowtorch and put it back in. In so doing, we’d get a few more months’ life out of it. He always wanted us to make the best of what we had and strive for more. 

Have you ever struggled to make ends meet? 

Yes, when I was in my early 20s and starting out in business. I was living in a house-share in London, working in retail. 

The vast majority of my income went on rent and commuting. There were definitely times I worried about money. But the backbone that my parents gave me meant I never feared that I wouldn’t be able to look after myself.

I was never allowed to feel self-pity when I was growing up. I knew the worst that could happen if I ran out of money was that I would either have to change my lifestyle or where I was living. 

How did you help with your father’s amazing fundraising effort? 

The £40million [including gift aid] that my father raised went straight to NHS Charities Together. We supported his efforts with company money. 

My husband and I run our own consultancy business and during the three-and-a-half weeks my father was fundraising, we paid some of our employees to help us manage the millions of emails and hundreds of interview requests he received. It would have been impossible to sustain the fundraising otherwise.

What was the best year of your financial life? 

It was 2020. On a personal level, raising that money was lifechanging. It all started on that second weekend of lockdown when we were coming to terms with the fact that the country was closing down. 

My husband and I sat outside, genuinely worried about our financial future. The entire pipeline for our business over the next 18 months had been wiped clean overnight. We were worried about how we would sustain our workers, my father and the children. 

It was then that my father, who had been rehabilitating after breaking his hip, started walking again.

We’d had to cancel his 100th birthday party because of Covid. So my husband suggested that instead of the party my father should walk around the garden 100 times, and we would give him £1 a lap. 

My father said: ‘All right, seems like a fair challenge.’ 

Then I said we should give the money to charity and frontline workers instead, and make the target £1,000. He agreed, so I sent a press release about ‘Captain Tom, the centenarian war veteran walking to support the NHS’ to the local press, thinking they wouldn’t even look at it. 

Within 24 hours, he had done several interviews and raised £2,000. Within a week, he’d raised half a million pounds. Within two weeks, it was £20million. By his 100th birthday, he had raised £38.9million and over a million people from 163 countries around the world had donated. 

Now I have this incredible, lasting legacy of hope. That’s what my father has left me, and the entire world.

Fundraiser: Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter Hannah plans a Captain Tom Day

Fundraiser: Captain Sir Tom Moore’s daughter Hannah plans a Captain Tom Day

Biggest money mistake you have made? 

Investing in some shares in the energy sector which then crashed in 2009. My husband and I lost a significant amount of money – enough to hurt us at the time. 

The best money decision you have made?

Buying the Bedfordshire house we now live in. We stretched ourselves to buy it at the time. It has seven bedrooms, so I was able to invite my father to come and live with us, and we had the most amazing 13 years together. 

Do you save into a pension? 

Yes I do, and have done so since I was in my early 20s. Having an older dad, I could see how important a pension was to him. 

What is the one luxury you treat yourself to? 

Getting my nails done every few weeks now that we are allowed to again. It costs about £20. 

If you were Chancellor, what would you do? 

I would crack down on financial scammers because older people are targeted mercilessly. And I would make sure that older people are able to bank and manage their finances online, because a lot of them are scared of doing that at the moment. 

Do you donate money to charity? 

Yes. I recently set up the Captain Tom Foundation to celebrate and empower our ageing population. 

Esther Rantzen is collaborating with us and we are planning to hold ‘Captain Tom Day’ in June this year. We hope it will be an annual fundraising day similar to Children In Need, but for older people. I’m hoping to raise £300,000 in the next few months. 

What is your number one financial priority? 

To make sure Captain Tom Day happens. I’m working all day and night, while still trying to run my business, to achieve that. 

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