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Fundraisers become youngest honours recipients

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Two fundraisers have become the youngest honours recipients on record in this year’s New Year’s Honours List.

Tobias Weller, AKA Captain Tobias, is the youngest at 11, joined by Max Woosey, AKA The Boy in the Tent, who is 12. Both have received the British Empire Medal (BEM) for their fundraising work.

I have been awarded a British Empire Medal (a bit like a baby MBE) and I’m on the New Year’s Honours List.

I am the youngest recipient on record of any Medal of the British Empire and, therefore, to have an honour from The Queen.

I’m…guess what…you got it…chuffed to bits!!! pic.twitter.com/dhYZyXR3Xv

— Tobias’s Marathon Challenges (@CaptainTobias9) December 31, 2021

Captain Tobias, who has cerebral palsy and autism, received his nickname after he was inspired by Captain Tom to fundraise during the lockdowns. He has since raised over £157,000 for his school Paces School, and The Children’s Hospital Charity, which is in his home town of Sheffield.

Tobias completed his third challenge in September, which involved a year-long Ironman, involving 180km on his trike, a 4km swim and running the length of a full marathon. The money raised for The Children’s Hospital Charity has funded a two-year position for an Exercise and Physical Activity Therapist at the Ryegate Centre at Sheffield Children’s.

Commenting, John Armstrong, Chief Executive Officer at The Children’s Hospital Charity said:

“Tobias’ remarkable determination and spirit in completing his three lockdown challenges has captured the hearts and inspired people not only in Sheffield, but across the country and around the world. The incredible total raised has helped fund a new role at Ryegate to help more children pursue their dreams every day. Thank you Tobias and if we can borrow your catchphrase, we’re chuffed to bits!”

Still can’t quite believe it! #iamhonoured https://t.co/TOmYTpcPjS

— Max Woosey BEM (@TheBoyInTheTent) December 31, 2021

Max Woosey from Devon has slept out in a tent every night since March 2020 – over 600 nights ­– raising some £700,000 in that time for North Devon Hospice. Originally given a tent by neighbour and family friend Rick Abbott, Max was inspired to fundraise for the hospice due to the care it gave Rick when he was terminally ill with cancer.

Max has also inspired other children to camp out and fundraise with his Max’s Big Camp Out. This took place on Saturday 27 March 2021, marking a year of his own camp out, and raised over £600,000.

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