Tobey has been chosen to receive a High Sheriff Award in recognition of his contribution to the community. Tobey was nominated because of the positive impact he’s had on the life of another young man. Tobey has had a progressive hearing loss since he was young and in 2016, aged 11, was told that he needed cochlear implants to be able to hear in the future. For Tobey, who has a fear of medical procedures, this was an enormous challenge but he eventually had his first cochlear implant in 2017.
In 2019, Tobey was asked if he could offer support to J, a boy who wanted to have cochlear implants but who faced similar fears to Tobey. At this stage, Tobey was facing the difficult prospect of surgery for his second implant and still had the same fears and anxieties as previously. However he put aside his own challenges to meet J and talk to him about the process. He was open about his experiences and talked about how he faced his fears and the benefits that surgery had brought. Talking to Tobey helped J undertake his own CI journey and that October J also underwent the surgery. This surgery has had an immensely positive impact on J’s life and without Tobey sharing his own experiences, it may not have happened.
Tobey was nominated by Sarah Court (Teacher of the Deaf) and Dawn Ball (Social Inclusion Facilitator) because he was able to put aside his own fears in order to help another person. Everyone who knows Tobey is extremely proud of him, not only for overcoming his own fears but also for turning his experiences into a positive for someone else.