Even if you don’t follow cricket, you feel the sunshine in your soul from Capt Tom’s delight in putting on the English cricket’s team cap. The team presented it to him on his 100th birthday on 30th April. He beams, “The pride of putting on that cap, and following in famous footsteps and to emulate heroes of old!” 

In his opening words ahead of the first international cricket match played anywhere in the world this year, England versus the West Indies, Capt Sir Tom began, "We’re used to waiting … and we’ve taken it step by step. Now the time has come for a great game to return to make the long walk back to the crease, and to remind us what we’ve missed.”

Capt Sir Tom has been a cricket lover all his life and inviting him to welcome back cricket was a wonderful idea. He won world-wide acclaim for walking laps in his garden during the lockdown to raise £33.8 million for National Health Service charities. 

Around £20 million has been spent on things that make their working lives easier, things that ward manager Cath Scott, at Darlington Memorial Hospital said that the NHS had not had the money for, before.            

At the height of the outbreak, welfare packs of sandwiches, drinks and energy bars were delivered to hospital wards when staff were unable to take breaks or were reluctant to leave their patients. Staff were given lip balms and hand creams, for lips left chapped and dry under face masks, and hands cracked from constant washing during long shifts. Before the outbreak, staff had to share the few lockers they had between them or leave their handbags and phones in communal spaces during shifts. With the money from the donations, they now have one each.

"In the NHS there hasn't really been money for things like that - not luxury items, but things that aren't necessarily essential," says Cath Scott, ward manager at Darlington Memorial Hospital. "They will make a big difference." With most of the appeal money yet to be handed out, Cath hopes to see longer term improvements, too. Read more, here.