Captain Sir Tom Moore has called on the country to stand “shoulder to shoulder” as England enters a second lockdown.
The Second World War veteran, who was knighted after raising more than £32m for the NHS by walking 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday, said the nation should pull together to get through the next month.
Pubs, bars, restaurants and non-essential shops will be closed across England until 2 December – and people are being asked to stay at home.
Capt Sir Tom said: “I would like us all to stand shoulder to shoulder – metaphorically!
“Let’s try not to get downhearted, we will get through this, whatever is thrown at us and together we can ensure that tomorrow will be a good day.”
His charity, The Captain Tom Foundation, have launched a campaign called Walk and Talk with Captain Tom.
Its aim is to get as many people as possible walking and talking, spreading hope and easing loneliness.
Sir Tom has spent this week has speaking to lonely people on the phone. He is also continuing to walk each day with his family.
His daughter Hannah said that her father “became a beacon of hope, and not just here but around the world for everyone who’s suffering the fallout of this terrible virus”.
She added: “Let’s pick up the phone, let’s wave at someone through their window, let’s talk, let’s try to combat loneliness in this lockdown and let’s walk.
“My father can’t pick up the mantle again but what he can do is lead the charge and lead us out to the next walk and let’s walk as a nation.
“Imagine what we can achieve as a nation if we’re walking and we’re talking to people at the same time, even with the regulations of only walking with one other.”