Sheffield's inspirational 'Captain Tobias', 12, named winner of British Citizen Youth Award Medal of Honour

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A courageous 12-year-old Sheffield boy who defied his battle with cerebral palsy to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charity will receive a national 'medal of honour'.

'Captain' Tobias Weller has been invited to the Palace of Westminster in a week's time to receive the British Citizen Youth Award.

Tobias Weller inspired us all when he followed the example of his own hero, Captain Sir Tom Moore, and took on several long-distance walking challenges including a marathon and an Ironman. Tobias, who has cerebral palsy, has raised more than £150,000. He is pictured here in September 2021 when he crossed the finish line of his Ironman Challenge, made up of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile trick ride and a 26-mile marathon, to raise £1,155 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Paces School.Tobias Weller inspired us all when he followed the example of his own hero, Captain Sir Tom Moore, and took on several long-distance walking challenges including a marathon and an Ironman. Tobias, who has cerebral palsy, has raised more than £150,000. He is pictured here in September 2021 when he crossed the finish line of his Ironman Challenge, made up of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile trick ride and a 26-mile marathon, to raise £1,155 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Paces School.
Tobias Weller inspired us all when he followed the example of his own hero, Captain Sir Tom Moore, and took on several long-distance walking challenges including a marathon and an Ironman. Tobias, who has cerebral palsy, has raised more than £150,000. He is pictured here in September 2021 when he crossed the finish line of his Ironman Challenge, made up of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile trick ride and a 26-mile marathon, to raise £1,155 for Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Paces School.
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The Beauchief youngster made headlines repeatedly in recent years for tackling endurance challenges on his walking frame and has to date raised over £168,000.

He and 23 other inspirational young people will be presented the BCYA Medal of honour on October 12, just months after becoming the youngest person to receive the British Empire Medal (BEM).

Tobias, who was diagnosed with Autism and cerebral palsy at the age of three, has always loved a challenge and rises to every occasion.

Sheffield youngster ‘Captain’ Tobias Weller is the youngest person to ever receive the British Empire Medal. Photo: David KessenSheffield youngster ‘Captain’ Tobias Weller is the youngest person to ever receive the British Empire Medal. Photo: David Kessen
Sheffield youngster ‘Captain’ Tobias Weller is the youngest person to ever receive the British Empire Medal. Photo: David Kessen

He set himself a lockdown goal to raise £500 for his two favourite charities that have helped him and others in his community – PACES School and Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

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In 2020, at the start of lockdown, Tobias couldn’t walk very far, but by daily practice, slowly building on the distance he was able to walk in all weather, and by sheer determination, he completed the equivalent of two marathons, one using a ‘special walker’ and one using a race runner.

Tobias then went onto conquer an IRONMAN challenge by running a marathon, cycling 180km and swimming 4km over the course of several months.

Tobias has attracted media coverage both locally and nationally, and his local community are very supportive.  His recent ‘Tobias in the Park’ event saw the public join him for a sponsored 1km challenge, raising money for new playground equipment that is accessible to disabled children.

The BCYA Medal of Honour bears the words ‘For the Good of the Country’ and is presented to only a small number of exceptional young individuals annually. The British Citizen Youth Award in partnership with Specsavers, is widely viewed as the nation’s way of recognising extraordinary, everyday young people for exceptional endeavor and is truly representative of today’s multicultural Britain.

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In addition to the 24 individual medalists, one group of young people is honoured with The Dame Mary Perkins British Citizen Group Award. This unique accolade is only open to groups of young people aged under 18. Only one group is selected each year to receive this honour and will be presented with an Official Presentation Plaque, Medal and Certificate of Honour.

Mike Faulkner, director of the BCYA, said: “We are delighted to be able to recognise these amazing individuals with a BCYA.

"It is both heartening and uplifting to know that so many young people are consciously contributing to causes such as the environment, climate change activism, ecology, and creating awareness and fundraising for hospitals and charities.

"The youth of today are truly the leaders of tomorrow and we are humbled that Dame Mary, who is also founder of Specsavers, has put her name to the prestigious group accolade enabling the BCYA to broaden its recognition of young people in society."