A schoolboy from South Yorkshire has said he was ‘chuffed to bits’ after discovering he was the youngest person ever to feature in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
Eleven-year-old Tobias Weller, from Sheffield, who has cerebral palsy and autism, is to receive the British Empire Medal (BEM).
The youngster was nicknamed ‘Captain’ after he was inspired by Captain Sir Tom Moore to raise money during the coronavirus lockdowns.
Tobias completed his latest challenge – an Ironman triathlon – in September 2021 and has so far raised more than £157,000 for Paces School, where he is a student, and The Children’s Hospital Charity, in his hometown.
His other fundraising achievements include completing two marathons, and his efforts have earned him a whole host of supporters, including Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill who joined him as he completed his second marathon.
Tobias said: “My mum told me about the honour on Christmas day and I thought ‘wow, I’m actually going to get an honour from Her Majesty the Queen’.
“I’m chuffed to bits to be the youngest recipient of such an incredible honour.”
Tobias and his mother, Ruth Garbutt, have been told he is the youngest recipient of the BEM on record and that appears to make him the youngest person ever to feature on the annual honours list.
The schoolboy is excited to meet the Queen at a royal garden party, adding: “I will receive the medal from the Lord Lieutenant at a local ceremony but I’ll also be invited to attend a royal garden party.”
The award is not the first honour to be bestowed upon Tobias. He has previously won the inaugural Captain Sir Tom Moore Young Unsung Hero Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year event, where he had the opportunity to meet the inspirational 100-year-old fundraiser.
Captain Tobias’ latest fundraising effort is to be a sponsored walk called ‘T In The Park’, and he also starts secondary school in September.
Ms Garbutt concluded: “I’m so pleased for him. Tobias works hard every single day of his life and he’s done so much fundraising and it’s been recognised beautifully I’m a little bit overwhelmed.”