Captain Tobias preparing for big day after partying with Sunak and first lady


Inspirational youngster Tobias Weller has said his coronation weekend spent partying with the Prime Minister and the US first lady is still sinking in as he prepares for the biggest fundraising day of his year.

Tobias is the youngest person to receive the British Empire Medal (BEM) and was one of the guests at Downing Street on Sunday for the Coronation Big Lunch, where sat with his mum Ruth Garbutt, munching sandwiches and cakes with Rishi Sunak and Jill Biden.

The 12-year-old, better known as Captain Tobias, said: “US first lady, Larry the cat, lovely food, brass band music, using the PM’s loo, wandering around inside Number 10, wearing the BEM medal in an official capacity.

“What a day, it’s still sinking in.”

Now, the 12-year-old is preparing for his annual Tobias In The Park event in his home city of Sheffield.

Tobias said: “Having recovered from an amazing weekend, I’m now busy planning my annual event, Tobias is the Park – a one kilometre walk in Endcliffe Park this Sunday.

“However, if you find walking easy, you’ve got to do it in a way that’s challenging for you.

“If you can’t make it to Sheffield at the weekend, join in wherever you are and post pictures/videos of your antics.

“It’s all to raise awareness of the need for accessible playground equipment, but if you want to raise money too, that’s great.”

Tobias, who has cerebral palsy and autism, has raised more than £167,000 for Paces School, where he is a student, and the Children’s Hospital Charity in Sheffield, through a series of epic challenges.

His achievements were recognised at the highest level when he became the youngest person on record to feature in the Honours List when it was announced he was to receive the BEM.

It was presented to him at his school last year by the Countess of Wessex – now the Duchess of Edinburgh – who joked that he might need a new house to fit in all his awards.

Captain Tobias Weller is presented with his British Empire Medal by the then Countess of Wessex
Captain Tobias Weller is presented with his British Empire Medal by the then Countess of Wessex (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The ceremony came a week after Tobias was named Young Fundraiser of the Year at the Pride of Britain Awards.

Tobias was nicknamed “Captain” after he was inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore to start raising money during the pandemic lockdowns.

He met his hero when he won the inaugural Captain Sir Tom Moore Young Unsung Hero Award at the 2020 BBC Sports Personality of the Year event.

Tobias’s challenges included an Ironman, completed over the course of a year – travelling 112 miles on his trike, swimming 2.5 miles and running the length of a full marathon – 26.2 miles.

His latest campaign has been to make playgrounds more accessible by encouraging people to complete a kilometre (0.6 miles) in the wackiest way they can imagine.

More details about Sunday’s event in Endcliffe Park can be found at