I have had a long think about which charity I would like to fundraise for and decided to go with the charity I was going to run for before covid but run on a much larger scale now. I want to take this opportunity to share a bit about my story with bullying and why I have chosen to take on this insane challenge for this cause. For the first 16 years of my life I was the total opposite of what I am now, I was extremely insecure, isolated and just a very vulnerable kid, I had no confidence and my head became a very dark place at such a young age, this was down to the bullying and treatment I received over the years stemming right back to my first ever year in school. I was an easy target, I was shy and sensitive and kids can be cruel, but I’m a big believer that a lack of education on the consequences of bullying has a big part to play in this. I would go to school every single day and be called the most horrific names, have down right cruel pranks played on me and I distinctly remember having my first thoughts of suicide at 8 years old because I could not understand why the other kids hated me so much and wanted to make my life so miserable, now that I’m an adult I can understand that these other kids probably had no idea they were having such an impact on me and over the years have learnt to forgiven these people for my own peace. As I went into high school, the bullying only escalated, I was getting taunted every single day, called every name under the sun only now in the age of social media I couldn’t get away from it, I was being told the world would be better of without me, I was fat, ugly, useless I would get threatened and told I should have been aborted, it was constant and over the years it took it’s toll on me and at this point I was so miserable, had no confidence and just wanted an out, I believed everything that the bullies were saying to be true, so this led to my first attempt on my life at 11 years old, I wish I could say it got better from that point but this only made the bullying worse, I started self harming and come the age of 13 I couldn’t go to school any more, I could not face it, but still I was constantly being harassed on social media. This took away virtually any sense of happiness and I spent the next 5 years on and out of hospital because I did not want to be here and any chance I got I would hurt myself because I believed everything the bullies were saying to be true. The final blow was when I was 16, everything became too much and I could not see any light at the end of the tunnel, so I took what would’ve been my last ever attempt on my life, but also the point I would start changing for the better. I don’t remember much, just beeps and doctors and after time in the icu it was a miracle I was alive, all of my loved ones were told to prepare themselves for the worst. My very close call with dying changed something in me, I decided I couldn’t live like this any more, seeing the pain this caused my family broke me and from that point I decided I was going to fight for myself, I wanted to live not just survive. Don’t get me wrong, it was not easy, it felt damn right impossible at times but I wasn’t going to give up. I started surrounding myself with positive influences, I started talking about my experiences and I wanted to be the person that could help my younger self and on this journey of self discovery that’s when I discovered running and it’s changed my life. It’s got such a massive part to play in where I am now which is a happy, confident and strong person. I’ve learned so much over the past 5 years and I am beyond grateful to the amazing people that have helped me along the way. I still struggle and this has been a hard journey, but I am living proof that you can turn your life around and create a beautiful life no matter what you’ve been through. However, I was certainly not the last kid to ever experience this horrendous bullying and some kids won’t be as lucky as me, youth suicides are happening every single day and I am so passionate about trying to change this. This insane challenge isn’t only for my younger self, this is for the millions of kids out there that are just like I was, they deserve to be seen and they deserve the help I was never given.I may be putting my mind, body and soul through the ultimate challenge running 160 miles, but that doesn’t even begin to compare to the hell I have lived through and what millions of other kids are going through right now, I am doing this for them.As someone who was relentlessly bullied for the best part of 10 years this charity and what they do is so close to my heart. I know first hand just how bullying can have a massive effect on a kids confidence, self esteem and overall mental health that can last years, I am lucky I have been able to overcome the worst of the effects bullying has but not everyone is so lucky with a massive increase in child and adolescent suicides directly linked to bullying. This charity does fantastic work educating kids and adults on the effects of bullying and how to stop it whilst also supporting victims of bullying and their relatives. I’m running 160 miles over 5 days in Tanzania and all money raised will go to this charity to help them continue to change so many lives. Any donation would be greatly appreciated!Kidscape works directly with children and families experiencing bullying, across the UK. We provide workshops for children and their families, teaching confidence and assertiveness skills to tackle a bullying situation. We provide practical support and telephone advice to parents and carers worried about bullying situations. We also train professionals in how to challenge and prevent bullying in schools.