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How to build a powerful legacy, inspired by Captain Tom

How to build a powerful legacy, inspired by Captain Tom, with Money Bites
We show you how you can build a powerful legacy like COVID-19 hero, Captain Sir Tom Moore.

Bite-Size Read:

  • A legacy is how you will be remembered when you pass away.
  • Captain Tom created a positive legacy, by raising £33 million for the NHS, being the oldest person to score a number one single and earning a knighthood at age 100.
  • We show you what you can learn from Captain Tom and how you can build your own powerful legacy.


When COVID-19 disrupted our lives, we needed hope.

And that hope came in the form of Captain Tom. Or to give him his full title Captain Sir Tom Moore. Tom was an army veteran who at the age of 99, decided to start walking. Ahead of his 100th birthday, he set a fundraising goal to walk 100 laps of his garden to raise money for the National Health Service (NHS). Tom aimed to raise £1,000 (AUD $1,700).


After the press got hold of the story, Captain Tom ended up raising nearly £33 million for the NHS.

The NHS was under strain from COVID-19 so that £33 million (AUD $58 million) met an immediate need. But the impact of Captain Tom’s actions was so much more than money. He inspired a nation that needed hope and left behind a legacy.



But what is a legacy?

A legacy is what you leave behind when you pass away. You could use your money or time to start an education scholarship, make a significant impact in an organisation or raise an amazing family that contributes positively to their community. A legacy is how you will be remembered.

When Captain Tom passed away on 2 February from pneumonia and COVID-19, the world reflected on his legacy. When his family announced his death, they shared the following observation:

“The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of.”


Captain Tom’s legacy redefined what we thought possible for someone at 100. His achievements included:



So what can we learn from Captain Tom’s legacy?

  • Start small: Captain Tom started with a modest fundraising goal of £1,000 and to walk 100 laps of his garden. 
  • Look beyond money: Sir Captain Tom’s impact went beyond money and included starting his own foundation and contributing to the national COVID-19 effort.
  • Age is no barrier: A lot of us assume or are told we’re too young or too old to achieve our goals but Captain Tom proved that age doesn’t need to be a barrier.
  • Never underestimate positive action: During COVID-19, we had to stay at home. Tom turned that confinement into positive action by showing what could be achieved through the simple act of walking.


That’s why Captain Tom is a huge inspiration to build a legacy.

Building a legacy means using your money and time to make an impact that lasts beyond your lifetime. By looking at Captain Tom’s impact, we can plan what our own legacies will look like. 



Here’s how you can build a powerful legacy like Captain Tom:


1. Determine your values

A legacy should be in line with your values. Work out what is important to you and what you’re passionate about.


2. Identify your strengths

Look at what skills you have available to put towards your legacy. Do you have badass communication skills, are you great with finances, or can you speak legalese? These are all strengths that you can contribute towards your legacy.


3. Work out how you’ll contribute

You could contribute 10% of what you earn every year or donate a lump sum when you’re older. There are multiple ways to give to a cause you’re passionate about and to build a legacy using your time, money, and skills.


4. Assess the need and test your assumptions

Assess where your contribution is needed and test that assumption. This could include measuring your impact to ensure that your legacy is achieving what you want it to.


“For all those people who are finding it difficult at the moment: the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away”

That quote was Captain Tom’s message of hope when he completed the 100th lap of his fundraising walk. Captain Tom is a great example of how to build a legacy through simple actions. If you’re wondering what your legacy should be, ask yourself: How do you want to be remembered?

Written by Kate Crowhurst

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