The moment when national treasure Captain Sir Tom Moore completed his world record-breaking charity walk has been officially hailed as the UK’s ‘Moment of Joy’ for 2020.
The 100-year-old war veteran’s extraordinary fund-raising effort has topped a poll of 2,000 people carried out by Appreciate Group, home of Love2Shop, Park Christmas Savings and highstreetvouchers.com.
Captain Sir Tom’s achievement ranked first with 39 per cent of those surveyed as he captured the nation’s hearts, raising more than £32 million through a charity walk around his garden; later receiving a knighthood from the Queen at Windsor Castle.
This was closely followed by Donald Trump’s defeat to Joe Biden in the race for the US Presidency (30 per cent) in second. The positive news on a coronavirus vaccine in October ranked third (29 per cent).
The moment Manchester United and England ace Marcus Rashford reversed the Government’s decision to provide free school meals was the nation’s fourth most joyful event (21 per cent). The day pubs re-opened after lockdown in July ranked in fifth place (20 per cent).
“Even though 2020 has been a year like no other, our poll shows that there have been many positive moments and achievements that have brought joy to the nation,” said Ian O’Doherty, CEO of Appreciate Group, which has a purpose to ‘create more joy in the world’.
“The top spot in our survey joins a long list of accolades for Captain Sir Tom Moore who brought a smile to the faces of so many people with his extraordinarily fundraising efforts for the NHS.
“Whilst we celebrate these achievements, for many people, their personal moments of joy will be very simple things. Time spent with family, hugs with friends, virtual celebrations, an exchange of gifts, or simply someone just being there for them.”
The nation’s Top Ten ‘Moments of Joy 2020’ in order were:
Captain Sir Tom completing his charity walk and raising more than £32million for the NHS (39 per cent picked this in their top three ‘Moments of Joy’)Donald Trump losing the US Presidential race to Joe Biden (30 per cent)Positive news of a coronavirus vaccine (29 per cent)Marcus Rashford winning a Government U-turn on free school meals (21 per cent)Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers reopening after lockdown (20 per cent)Reaching agreement to leave the EU (13 per cent)The 75th anniversary of VE Day (12 per cent)Kamala Harris advancing women in positions of power by being named Vice President (11 per cent)The launch of the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme (10 per cent)Liverpool securing the Premier League title for the first time in 30 years (nine per cent)
News of a coronavirus vaccine ranked highest in those aged 55 and above, as well as those aged between 18 and 24.
There was also a stark difference in the ages when it comes to the debate around leaving the EU, with the over 55’s most likely to choose Brexit in their top moments of joy (19 per cent), compared to only seven per cent of those aged between 18 and 24.
Attitudes to moments of joy this year differed regionally too, with the US presidential election result ranking highest across regions in the South including London, the South East and Wales. Whereas Marcus Rashford’s school meals campaign was favoured in areas in the North West and Northern Ireland.
Those in the North East considered the moment when pubs and restaurants re-opened after the first lockdown to be the most joyful, while respondents in the West Midlands included Brexit in their top five moments.
In areas of Scotland, Glasgow in particular, Scotland qualifying for their first major football tournament (33 per cent) even outranked news of a coronavirus vaccine (32 per cent)!