Captain Tobias says Sheffield Children’s Hospital’s plan for the money he raised is ‘magnificent’
Inspirational Sheffield fundraiser Captain Tobias says he feels “magnificent” after finding out Sheffield Children’s Hospital has decided to spend tens of thousands of pounds he has donated to fund a new specialist post.
Tobias Weller, 10, who has cerebral palsy and autism, was nicknamed “Captain” after he was inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore to do a series of ongoing challenges during lockdown, which have so far raised more than than £150,000.
His exploits around his home in Beauchief have drawn praise from around the UK, including from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Olympic gold medallist Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, who joined him for the end of his second epic marathon in August last year.
And Tobias met his hero, Captain Sir Tom, when he was awarded the very first Captain Tom Young Unsung Hero of the Year award at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year event in December.
Tobias has split the money he has raised between Paces School, in Sheffield – which he attends – and The Children’s Hospital Charity – which supports Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where he has been treated many times.
On Tuesday, the charity told the PA news agency how it was going to spend its share on a new two-year Children’s Exercise and Physical Activity Therapist post at its Ryegate Centre, in the city.
Tobias said: “It makes me feel magnificent.
“If another child managed to achieve what I have achieved because of my fundraising, I’ll be chuffed to bits.”
His mum, Ruth Garbutt, said: “The Ryegate Centre plays a huge part in Tobias’ ongoing care.
“He has visited regularly since he was less than a year old, seeing a range of therapists and consultants who endeavour to help Tobias progress as much as possible.
“He genuinely enjoys going and has built up lovely relationships with the staff there. They are amazing – friendly and approachable whilst being extremely hard working.”
Ms Garbutt said: “It is quite overwhelming to know that Tobias has raised money that will, potentially, change the lives of other children.
“We would both be delighted if one child was positively affected by his fundraising. The reality is that it is likely to affect many children’s lives. What a legacy that is.
“Every single person who donated to Tobias’ challenges has played a part in changing lives of children across Sheffield and beyond, together they have achieved great things and should feel very proud.
“Tobias and I would like to say a massive thank you to you all.”
Tobias’ physiotherapist at Ryegate, Fran Lace, said: “I’m absolutely delighted that Ruth and Tobias are keen to support the therapy teams in this way and it’s brilliant how Tobias’ own dream interlinks with this role and that his fundraising will be used in such a positive way.”
Ms Lace said: “I’m passionate about the wide-ranging benefits of physical activity for everyone and Tobias has proved that with determination and commitment, he can achieve anything. I hope that he will inspire others to try things they previously wouldn’t have and I’m very proud to see his progress.”