Nine-year-old Sheffield fundraising hero ‘Captain’ Tobias Weller embarked on his next mission as part of a team which took on a sponsored 480-mile virtual bike ride.
The youngster, who lives with cerebral palsy and autism, joined staff at East Midlands Designer Outlet’s Converse Store in Derbyshire to ‘virtually’ cycle the distance from the store to the firm’s head office in Hilversum, Holland, to raise funds for Paces.
Tobias used a specially designed Rifton Tricycle, provided by Sheffield-based postural support specialist Jiraffe. The bespoke trike has since been permanently donated to young Tobias for him to use either at home or at school.
At the start of lockdown, Tobias made national headlines by raising almost £150,000 for The Children’s Hospitals Charity and Paces, a specialist centre, school and charity who support children and adults with neurological conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, MS, Stroke, and Parkinson’s.
Tobias first walked the distance of a marathon despite his own personal challenges, before then taking on a second challenge using a Race Runner.
He completed both challenges in his favourite shoes – his Converse Chucks – hence the link to the brand’s nearest store at the East Midlands Designer Outlet near Alfreton in north Derbyshire.
During his latest fundraising mission, Tobias said:
“Thanks Jiraffe for the trike – I’m loving using it!
“I love raising money for Paces School, it makes me feel awesome, and it’s amazing to be doing it in my favourite shoes, too – I’m chuffed to bits!”
Ruth Garbutt, Tobias’s mum, said:
“I’m delighted that, following his marathons, Tobias is getting so many opportunities.
“He really enjoyed joining in the sponsored bike ride. We really appreciate the fundraising efforts from the staff at Converse.
“For Jiraffe to donate the tricycle to Tobias is brilliant too, they have been so generous and, as you can imagine, he’s chuffed to bits!”
Holly Jenkins, Director at Jiraffe, said:
“We’re so proud to have played a part in enabling Tobias to take on his latest fundraising mission and I’m over the moon that we’ve now been able to gift the specially-designed Rifton Tricycle to Tobias for him to use in future.
“Paces is such an amazing venture which deserves as much support as possible. They provide vital support to some of the most vulnerable young people in our region – making Tobias’ fundraising efforts all the more significant.
“We’d like to congratulate Tobias and everyone involved in this latest incredible effort and wish them all the best in their mission to raise further funds and awareness for a fantastic cause.”
Julie Booth, Head of Fundraising at Paces, said:
“We’re so grateful to Tobias and his family for everything that he’s done for us in the last few months – his efforts have been incredible.
“The funds he has raised will make a huge difference to us, with this latest mission with the team at the Converse Store adding to an already incredible amount raised for our charity in recent times.”