Congratulations Toby Wheeler, Pride of Essex! On Tuesday evening Toby was crowned Inspirational Youth 2019 at the Pride of Essex Awards.

Toby is truly inspirational. During 2019 he has been raising funds for Team Angus (see Angus’ story below) whilst also raising the profile of sports participation for people with disabilities. So far he has raised more than £9,000 and his Just Giving page is still open if you would like to support Toby and Angus. Toby’s fundraising has taken many forms, and Thompson Smith and Puxon has been privileged to support Toby in his fundraising efforts, sponsoring his Wheeler Way Walk Event in May and in June hosting a quiz, which Toby attended, from which all proceeds were donated to Team Angus. Toby also organised a Sky Diving team in April and TSP’s Nicola Crisell was a part of that event too!

Toby is pictured (left) with his award and below is a gallery of pictures from the evening. Keep up the good work Toby!

Toby’s Story: Toby Wheeler is an exceptional young man in his twenties who has cerebral palsy. Despite his disability he is determined and focussed with a never-give-up attitude to life. Toby started walking with the aid of a specialised walking frame just a few years ago. He has gained strength and confidence since having spinal and hip surgeries and through hard work and determination, combined with a physiotherapy programme, has gradually increased the distance he can achieve. You can see a video of Toby on his face book page here.

Last year Toby decided that he wanted to enter a race, but due to the time Toby would need to complete a race and other environmental factors there were too many barriers for him to easily enter one of the locally organised park runs. He therefore decided that he would organise his own race – the Wheeler Way Walk.

Toby is an All Together Ambassador for Active Essex. All Together is a campaign to promote the opportunities available for people with disabilities to participate in sport and physical activity in Essex. Active Essex also supported Toby with funding for the Wheeler Way Walk, contributing towards the medals and the barriers to mark the course.

Angus’ Story: Angus, like Toby, has cerebral palsy. Angus’ cerebral palsy was caused by a traumatic time at birth; he was born in 2017, in his parent’s car on the A120 and starved of oxygen for at least 30 minutes. His parents made every effort with CPR but feared the worse. The attending paramedics got Angus breathing again as they rushed him to hospital. He spent months in hospital fighting many battles. Angus is a brave and strong little boy with the most infectious smile. However, he needs therapies and equipment as he goes through life which the NHS cannot supply in the quantity needed to make a substantial difference to Angus’ life. Team Angus is raising money to fund the lifetime care that Angus requires. Toby understands the importance of equipment and physiotherapy programmes and was inspired to raise as much money as he can for Angus. He wants to make a difference to Angus’ life and inspire Angus to do incredible things.