WATCH: Inspirational ‘Captain Tobias' takes on new fundraising challenge in Derbyshire

A disabled Sheffield schoolboy who has raised hundreds of thousands for charity is taking on his next fundraising challenge this weekend.

Saturday, 12th September 2020, 3:12 pm
Updated Sunday, 13th September 2020, 11:13 am

Nine-year-old Tobias Weller, nicknamed ‘Captain Tobias’ in honour of his fundraising hero, WWII veteran Captain Sir Tom Moore, is taking part in a sponsored virtual bike ride with Converse store staff at East Midlands Designer Outlet, Alfreton, making the epic 480-mile journey to the company’s head office in Hilversum, Holland. They aim to finish the challenge on Sunday afternoon.

The inspirational youngster, who has cerebral palsy and autism, wants to raise £1000 for his school, Paces, which needs £3.5 million for a new building that will allow it to support three times as many families. The school, which supports children and adults with neurological conditions, currently has to turn away around 100 families a year because of a lack of space.

Tobias’ mum, Ruth Garbutt, said: “It’s absolutely wonderful because he’s having so many opportunities having completed the marathons, which was an exceptional feat.

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'Captain Tobias' with mum, Ruth, and staff at the Converse store at East Midlands Designer Outlet.

"He’s getting lots and lots more experiences and opportunities. I’m really proud of him, he’s very much enjoying himself.”

Tobias, from Beauchief, is using a specially designed Rifton Trike provided by Sheffield-based postural support specialist Jiraffe to cycle alongside Converse staff, many of whom have given up their free time to help out.

The Star managed to speak to the little hero while he was peddling to raise some much-needed funds for his beloved school.

He said: “I’m really, really enjoying it. I love raising money for Paces School, it makes me feel awesome.”

Tobias with mum, Ruth Garbutt, and Adam Truman from the Converse store.

Ruth added: “We’re really grateful to the Converse store and all the staff for doing this for Paces.”

Converse Chucks are Tobias’ favourite trainers as they help his mobility. While he was taking part in his double marathon, Adam Truman, store manager at East Midlands Designer Outlet, contacted Ruth to offer to supply trainers.

After being inspired by his efforts, which raised almost £150,000 for Paces and The Children’s Hospitals Charity in Sheffield, Adam said staff at the store wanted to help Tobias in his next challenge.

Julie Booth, head of fundraising at Paces, said: “We’re so grateful to Converse for the work they have done [...] they have just made a massive difference.”

You can donate the the fundraising challenge here.