Captain Tobias’ effort to help more children achieve their goals!

A year ago, when the nation went into lockdown for the first time, then 9-year-old Tobias Weller decided to use his daily exercise to make a big difference.

Tobias has cerebral palsy and autism and before he started his challenge, he could only manage 50 metres with his walker as he recovered from surgery. 

Through his own determination and the dedicated support of the team at Sheffield Children’s, he was soon able to cover 750 metres a day and Tobias captured the hearts of the nation.

Tobias has had several operations at Sheffield Children's, where he enjoys his 'sleepovers', using the games and technology and eating the jelly.

As well as using the new wards, Tobias has also needed the Emergency Department and the Ryegate Centre at Sheffield Children’s for his ongoing physiotherapy.

He has since completed two marathons, walking and running the length of his street, cheered on by his friends and neighbours.

Tobias initially set out to raise £500 to be split between The Children’s Hospital Charity and Paces school. But, thanks to his incredible efforts, cheeky personality and inspirational challenge he has raised more than £150,000.

The money raised for The Children’s Hospital Charity will now fund a two-year position at Sheffield Children’s for a Children’s Exercise and Physical Activity Therapist, to join the highly skilled and dedicated team at the Ryegate Centre.

Tobias’ mum Ruth explains: “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. Tobias has progressed massively a result of their care.”

Tobias added: “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!”

Tobias’ physiotherapist at Ryegate, Fran Lace, added: “Watching Tobias’ progress with first his walking marathon, then his race runner and now the trike has been fantastic to see. It’s been great to see him gaining enjoyment and recognition for this amazing achievement.

“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.”

“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.”

“The role will provide a really welcome addition to the team. It will give the opportunity for young people under our care to pursue new goals, explore and push what they can do and achieve. I’m excited to see how it will help the young people under our care.”

Tobias’ mum Ruth continues: “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!”

For more information on the role, click here.