Seven months after he began fundraising hoping to raise £500, Sheffield’s ‘Captain’ Tobias Weller has brought his fundraising challenge to an end having achieved 300-times as much.
The nine-year-old has caught the attention of the nation with this Marathon Challenges – walking 26.2 miles in March, April and May and running a further marathon using a race runner in June and July culminating in a Yorkshire Day finish on 1 August alongside Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill.
Now, 213 days after his fundraising began, his page for donations has closed having raised an incredible £150,292 from over 6,000 supporters. The money is being split between his two favourite charities – Paces, the special school where he is a pupil, and Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where he regularly visits for treatment.
Tobias has Cerebral Palsy and Autism and cannot walk or stand unaided. But, during the coronavirus lockdown, he wanted to challenge himself:
“Boom! I cannot believe how much money I have raised and am chuffed to bits so many people have supported me over the past few months. Thank you to everyone who has cheered me on and donated.”
His mum Ruth said:
“£150,000 is a massive amount of money and I am so proud of Tobias and everything he has achieved. There was no way in the world we would have predicted how much support he has had – from sporting legends to the police, our friends and family to our neighbours. I am so grateful to everyone for their help, kindness and generosity.”
While Tobias has decided to end this stage of his fundraising, he insists this isn’t the end of his challenges. He has decided to take on a third marathon – this time using a new trike bought by Sheffield firm Jiraffe.
“First and foremost, this is a challenge for Tobias. He is so motivated and just wants to keep going.”
Tobias’s school, Paces, teaches children life-changing skills using conductive education – such as sitting, standing, walking, speaking, communication and self-care – in an environment they can have fun, develop friendships, and feel like they belong.
Speaking about the £75,000 donation from Tobias from his challenges, Julie Booth, Head of Fundraising at Paces, said:
“The amount of money Tobias has raised thanks to his incredible efforts is staggering. We are so grateful to him and his family for everything they have done. He’s an inspiration to us all.
“The money will go towards our campaign to build a new home for Paces School allowing us to support many more children and young people in the future. It will make a huge difference.”