Captain Sir Tom Moore statue for Chapel Allerton Hospital: How you can donate and where it will stand

A Leeds artist is donating a huge statue of Sir Captain Tom Moore to one of the city's hospitals, with the hope being that it will inspire patients on the road to recovery.

Monday, 19th April 2021, 9:13 am

Standing at two metres in height, the bronze piece will show the late Captain Tom with his thumb raised as he completed his 100th lap of his garden to raise money for the NHS.

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The veteran's efforts generated almost £33m for NHS Charities Together, with more than £670,000 being passed on to Leeds Hospitals Charity to date.

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Artist Andrian Melka at work on the sculpture of Captain Sir Tom Moore. Picture: Gary Longbottom

It seems fitting then that the statue now being created in his honour will stand in the grounds of Chapel Allerton Hospital - one of eight Leeds hospitals supported by the charity.

Artist Andrian Melka, whose previous clients include the Prince of Wales, said: "I got quite inspired last year when I saw Capt Tom just starting the walk. He was this old man doing something extraordinary for his age. He really moved me at the time.

"The idea for making the sculpture came about after his death. I did a small maquette in the beginning, then thought I would do a full portrait. I thought why not try a crowdfunding page to make a big bronze?"

His crowdfunding appeal has raised more than £22,000 to date, with the goal being to secure £28,500 by May 2.

The sculpture taking shape at Andrian Melka's workshop in Bolton Percy, near Tadcaster. Pictures: Gary Longbottom

"It's been amazing to see all these people donating," said Andrian. "I was quite surprised - it's a big amount of money."

Those supporting the project will each have their names engraved in the base, with postcards, prints or plaster models also being given in thanks depending upon the sum given.

Andrian hopes businesses in the city will get behind the appeal too, adding: "Because the names are being written on the base, it's something nice for them. It's going to a Leeds hospital too so it's staying local."

The sculptor is giving his time for free, with the donations being used to cover the cost of casting the bronze.

He is currently putting the finishing touches to a full clay portrait at his workshop in Bolton Percy, near Tadcaster, before a foundry team visits to make the mould used to cast the statue.

The final resting spot for the sculpture is intended to be a courtyard garden which is currently being refurbished.

Patients treated at the hospital often face long periods of recovery so Leeds Hospitals Charity hopes the new garden, complete with statue, will provide a place to rest and recuperate.

Its chief executive, Esther Wakeman, said: "Capt Sir Tom was such an inspiration to so many people and, as a proud Yorkshireman, we hope he’d be pleased at having such a fitting tribute to him here in Leeds.

"When it’s complete, we hope the garden spaces will provide a calming space for both patients and staff and the sculpture will be a wonderful finishing touch."

Visit the crowdunding page to make a donation towards the statue's creation.