Paces School Sheffield: Lord mayor presents special award to fundraising hero ‘Captain’ Tobias Weller BEM

The inspirational Sheffield youngster whose fundraising heroics captured the hearts of the nation has been honoured with a special award.

By Robert Cumber
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 3:42 pm

Ten-year-old ‘Captain’ Tobias Weller BEM, who has cerebral palsy and autism, raised more than £150,000 for Paces School, where he is a pupil, and The Children's Hospital Charity by following in the footsteps of his hero, Captain Sir Tom Moore, and taking on a series of challenges.

He completed two marathons and a gruelling triathlon, which included a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile tricycle ride and another marathon.

Sheffield’s lord mayor, Councillor Gail Smith, this week visited Paces in High Green, the leading specialist centre, charity and school for individuals with cerebral palsy and motor disorders, to meet Tobias and other inspirational youngsters there.

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Sheffield's lord mayor, Councillor Gail Smith, with fundraising hero 'Captain' Tobias Weller during a visit to Paces School

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She presented a special award to Tobias, who in January became the youngest winner of the British Empire Medal.

Coun Smith also met fellow ten-year-old pupil Lennie Street and heard him play some of his favourite tunes on the piano, something he did during lockdown online helping raise thousands for Paces.

She was at Paces to learn more about the life-changing skills taught there to pupils who travel daily from across Yorkshire.

Sheffield's lord mayor, Councillor Gail Smith, at Paces School with 10-year-old pupil Lennie Street, who raised thousands of pounds during lockdown by playing his favourite tunes on the piano

The organisation is one of the UK leaders in ‘conductive education’ which supports all the children to achieve their potential, not just academically but with key skills for life such as sitting, standing, walking, speaking, communication and self-care.

Ruth Liu, headteacher of Paces School and head of conductive education at Paces, said: “It was an absolute pleasure to welcome the Lord Mayor of Sheffield to our school, introduce her to some of our inspirational pupils and tell her all about conductive education and the impact it has.

“What our pupils, teachers and staff achieve every day using its techniques and skills is life-changing and I want more children and adults to have that opportunity. To do that, we need as much support as possible and it is humbling that our pupils so often lead the way in raising money to help others benefit from the experience they have had.”

During the visit, Coun Smith also heard about the New Home for Paces campaign raising money so the school can move to a new fit-for-purpose base at Thorncliffe Hall, giving more children more opportunities to benefit from conductive education.