Mr Chris Jones and a team of helpers from the Bedford School community have been busy sorting through mountains of stamps to donate to charity thanks to Captain Tom Moore.
In April, our Great Hall was turned into a hive of activity 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 – all while carefully setting aside the stamped envelopes.
The 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, 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.”
Captain Moore walked 100 lengths of his garden and became a beacon of hope for the nation during the coronavirus lockdown.
To mark the occasion, post across the country was adorned with a specially created postmark wishing Captain Moore a happy birthday from Royal Mail.
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, thanked the school and Captain Moore for the donation of stamps. She explained: “Stamps make a real difference as the 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.”