We're delighted to announce that Ben Smith of The 401 Challenge is now a Kidscape ambassador!
Ben ran the equivalent distance of 401 marathons in 401 days to raise awareness of bullying and fundraise for us and LGBT charity Stonewall. He has raised over £300,000 and shared his story with thousands of people across the UK. We are in awe of him and are over the moon that he's agreed to become one of our ambassadors.
Ben has recently been awarded Pride of Britain's Fundraiser of the Year Award as well as receiving a Points of Light award from Downing Street.
After being subjected to homophobic bullying and physical abuse at boarding school, Ben twice tried to take his own life and later on suffered a TIA (mini-stroke) at 29 which in part he attributes to the way he had been treated for years as a teenager.
During recovery, he was encouraged to join a running club by a friend and found that it helped him regain both physical and mental health. After coming out as gay and publicly acknowledging the feelings he had believed he had to keep hidden as a teenager, Ben wanted to do something to raise awareness of the damage that bullying can do as well as raise money to support charities working in this area.
"Having been bullied myself, I know first hand the devastating effects it can have on a person and their family. Working alongside Kidscape during the 401 Challenge inspired me to accept their offer of becoming an ambassador. I can't think of a charity I would want to work with more."
"Together we can help bring awareness and affect real change, inspire young children and adults to celebrate difference and accept each other for who we are. I am honoured to be a Kidscape ambassador."
If you'd like to hear more about Ben's story, you can listen back to him on Radio 4's PM programme here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b081l8bj