‘You have to push yourself’: 96-year-old former NHS psychotherapist walks 2km a day to boost care homes’ PPE

Ruth Brook (left), 96, who is walking 12km over six days and Captain Tom Moore, 100 on Thursday (Apr

Ruth Brook (left), 96, who is walking 12km over six days and Captain Tom Moore, 100 on Thursday (April 30), doing laps of his garden for the NHS. Pictures: Jewish Care/PA - Credit: Archant

A 96-year-old former NHS psychotherapist is walking two kilometres a day for charity to “help save lives” and boost care homes’ PPE in the 2.6 Challenge.

Ruth Brook, of Haverstock Hill, who spent four years during the Second World War as a RAF mechanic and 30 years in the NHS as a psychotherapist, is walking 12km over six days for the Jewish Homes Emergency Appeal.

The Belsize Parker started on April 26 and is doing her bit to help plug the fundraising gap left behind in the wake of the cancelled London Marathon.

A mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Ruth follows in the footsteps of army veteran Captain Tom Moore, 100 on Thursday, who has captured the nation’s hearts by raising more than £29 million for the NHS walking laps of his garden.

Ruth told the Ham&High: “I saw Captain Moore wandering around his garden and I said to myself it would be nice to contribute to Jewish Care and to help provide money for PPE for frontline NHS and care home staff.

“In all stages of life you have to challenge yourself and seize opportunities, and that’s even more important as you get older because it becomes increasingly difficult.

“So that’s what I’m doing. You have to push yourself and that’s fine.”

Most Read

On her fundraising page, Ruth, who has another great-grandchild on the way, said: “I am 96 and at my stage in life it’s still important to make a contribution.

“I know how desperately urgent it is for the care staff in residential homes to have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and to protect the residents and staff.

“Helping to prevent the spread of the virus also means fewer people will be taken to hospital and therefore decrease the pressure on the NHS.”

As an 18-year-old, Ruth spent four years in the RAF as a flight mechanic during the Second World War despite admitting she “didn’t know what a spanner was” when she started.

She went on to work as a publisher and then as a psychotherapist including at GP practices and for Camden Psychological Services, previously based in King’s Cross.

Her daughter Sue said: “We’re really proud that Mum is raising money for care homes and vital PPE. Our Mum is pretty amazing.

“Her career has been so impressive, and the fact that she set up and leads the U3A (University of the Third Age) where a group of older people come together once a week and share the challenges of ageing with each other is wonderful.

“She has been incredibly lucky with her health and we’re very proud of her.”

To donate to Ruth’s fundraiser click here.