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What is the Captain Tom Foundation and what is its future?

Captain Sir Tom Moore captured the nation’s hearts with his pandemic fundraising efforts (Jacob King/PA)
Captain Sir Tom Moore captured the nation’s hearts with his pandemic fundraising efforts (Jacob King/PA)

The Captain Tom Foundation’s future is in doubt, according to a lawyer representing the late fundraising hero’s family.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at the charity’s beginnings and how things stand now.

– Who was Sir Tom?

Captain Tom Moore walked laps of his garden to raise money during the pandemic (Joe Giddens/PA)
Captain Tom Moore walked laps of his garden to raise money during the pandemic (Joe Giddens/PA)

Captain Tom Moore, a Second World War veteran, rose to prominence in the early part of the Covid-19 pandemic, capturing the hearts of the nation with his fundraising efforts during the first lockdown.

He had set out to raise £1,000 for NHS Charities Together by walking 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden before his 100th birthday in April 2020 – but his efforts struck a chord with the nation and donations flooded in.

He ended up raising more than £32 million for the NHS, and in acknowledgement of his fundraising efforts he was knighted by the Queen during a unique open air ceremony at Windsor Castle in summer 2020.

He died at Bedford Hospital on February 2 2021 after testing positive for Covid-19.

– And what about his family?

Captain Tom’s daughter Hannah Ingram-Moore was by his side for much of his fundraising efforts and the publicity which followed.

He had another daughter, Lucy Teixeira, four grandchildren and his sons-in-law.

Before he died, the centenarian got to tick a holiday in the Caribbean off his bucket list when he and some of his family travelled to Barbados just before Christmas in 2020.

Mrs Ingram-Moore was among a number of “inspirational individuals” invited to the Royal Box on the first day of Wimbledon 2021, enjoying a standing ovation before the first match on Centre Court as the tournament returned after Covid.

– What is the Captain Tom Foundation?

A charitable foundation was registered in his honour (Danny Lawson/PA)
A charitable foundation was registered in Captain Tom’s honour (Danny Lawson/PA)

The foundation was established in May 2020 and, according to its website, was “inspired by the outpouring of goodwill and generosity that followed Captain Tom’s fundraising walk”.

It was registered in June 2020 “as a grant-making charity, for the advancement of public health and wellbeing”, the Charity Commission said.

Following his death in 2021, the foundation said it would “aspire to ensure Tom’s message of hope becomes an enduring legacy”.

– When did the Charity Commission open its investigation into the foundation and why?

The Charity Commission opened a case into the charity shortly after the 100-year-old died in 2021, and began reviewing the set-up of the organisation.

The regulator launched an inquiry into the foundation in June 2022, after identifying concerns about the charity’s management and independence from Captain Tom’s family.

– What exactly is the commission looking at?

Captain Sir Thomas Moore was knighted by the Queen in summer 2020 (Chris Jackson/PA)
Captain Sir Thomas Moore was knighted by the Queen in summer 2020 (Chris Jackson/PA)

The investigation’s scope includes examining mismanagement or misconduct which may have led to any financial losses to the charity and whether the trustees have adequately managed conflicts of interest, including with private companies connected to the Ingram-Moore family.

The regulator said it was concerned that a failure to consider intellectual property and trademark issues when the charity was established might have provided Club Nook Limited, a private company controlled by Mrs Ingram-Moore and her husband Colin, “the opportunity to trademark variations of the name ‘Captain Tom’ without objection from the charity”.

The commission said this might have “generated significant profit for the company”.

The millions raised by the late Captain Tom and donated to NHS Charities Together before the foundation was formed are not part of the commission’s inquiry.

– Has the foundation been affected?

Intervention by the Charity Commission had a “massive adverse impact
The intervention by the Charity Commission had a ‘massive adverse impact’ on the foundation’s fundraising, company accounts stated (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Charity accounts published in September 2023 stated that the Charity Commission’s intervention into the foundation had a “massive adverse impact on the charity, our ability to raise new funds and to deliver operational activities”.

The charity stated that its work is “entirely reliant on donations” and that while its total income had been just over £1 million for the 2021 financial year, that fell to £402,854 from June 2021 to November 2022.

– Is the foundation still taking donations?

No. In summer 2023 it stopped taking money from donors after planning chiefs at Central Bedfordshire Council ordered that an unauthorised spa pool block at Hannah Ingram-Moore’s home should be demolished.

– What does the future look like for the foundation?

The Charity Commission investigation remains ongoing with no findings published yet.

But at a hearing on the planning appeal related to the spa pool block a barrister for the Ingram-Moores indicated the foundation might shut down.

Lawyer Scott Stemp said: “It’s not news to anybody that the (Captain Tom) foundation, it seems, is to be closed down following an investigation by the Charity Commission.”

He added that in future the foundation was “unlikely to exist”.

– What is happening with the planning appeal hearing?

A view Hannah Ingram-Moore's home as a planning permission appeal hearing got underway (Joe Giddens/PA)
A view of Hannah Ingram-Moore’s home as a planning permission appeal hearing got under way (Joe Giddens/PA)

Mr and Mrs Ingram-Moore applied in 2021 for permission to construct a Captain Tom Foundation Building in the grounds of their home in Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire.

The L-shaped building was given the green light, but the planning authority refused a subsequent retrospective application in 2022 for a larger C-shaped building containing a spa pool.

The council ordered that the spa block be demolished, and the family appealed, with a council hearing in October 2023 being told the facility could be used for rehabilitation sessions for the elderly.

A neighbour of Mrs Ingram-Moore described the spa block as an “eyesore”, as an inspector made a site visit to understand the impact on locals.

A written decision is to be published at a later date, weeks after the one-day hearing.