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The 401 Challenge

593. Ben Smith

Ben Smith, from Bristol, has completed a remarkable marathon-running achievement in aid of two special charities.

Ben was badly bullied as a child, and this inspired him to set himself the mammoth challenge of running 401 marathons in 401 consecutive days. With the incredible support of the rest of The 401 Challenge team, Ben’s achievements have attracted donations of 300,000 so far for Kidscape and Stonewall.

Ben and the team completed The 401 Challenge at the start of October, and they have already set out on the next stage of their adventure. They are setting up The 401 Foundation, a grant-making foundation which aims to support charities and social enterprises dealing with mental health, self development, self esteem and confidence issues.

In a personal letter to Ben, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Your phenomenal achievement has highlighted the issue of bullying, inspired others to believe in their own abilities and raised funds for two important charities.”

Ben said:

“The 401 Challenge is proud and honoured to accept ‘The Point of Light’ award’. Both my team and I feel very grateful for the recognition of our efforts and look forward to launching The 401 Foundation which will carry on the legacy that has been created. This challenge wouldn’t have been half the success it was without key team members behind the scenes, working together to deliver focused objectives has meant we have delivered on every single one, bringing people along the way and creating what some are calling a movement in the bid to bring awareness to issues surrounding bullying.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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