“Possibly the most inspirational and amazing person I have ever seen”
Growing up Ben wasn’t a runner, in fact, he wasn’t very sporty. He suffered at the hands of bullies through school and with his confidence and self esteem knocked, he led a life dictated to him by others. After suffering from a Transient Ischemic Attack, or incomplete stroke at 29, Ben who was 17 stone at the time, felt he needed to change the way he led his life.
Ben has delivered inspirational talks to audiences covering physical wellness, resilience, LGBTQ+ and mental health.
Contact Great British Speakers today to book LGBTQ+ and mental health speaker Ben Smith to speak at your next live or virtual event or call +44 1753 439289.
Back in 2015/16 Ben Smith set out to achieve something no one else in the world had ever done. He set his sights on running one marathon every day for 401 days all around the UK. Covering 10,506 miles, he raised £330,000 for two anti-bullying charities, Stonewall and Kidscape.
Ben is also the founder of The 401 Foundation, which was set up as the legacy to The 401 Challenge. The 401 Foundation offers easily accessible grants of between £100 and £3,000 with the sole purpose of helping local communities and individuals build confidence, self-esteem and positively contribute to people’s mental wellbeing.
Ben’s story is one of triumph over adversity, it inspires and motivates all ages. The way Ben tells his story brings to life the importance of accepting and respecting others no matter who they are. Understanding that having resilience is key to overcoming tough times in your life and ultimately believing that the limitations we think we have are only our own thoughts.
Ben’s honest and often raw story telling means as a corporate guest speaking Ben delivered a story is both captivating and inspirational. Covering the practical aspects of logistical planning and professional planning, his talks incorporate triumph over adversity, mental toughness and mindfulness.
You will now find Ben travelling extensively to inspire all sorts of people at all kinds of events both indoors, outside and now virtually, including schools, higher education and corporate clients
His unique, honest and humorous style of presenting his story is sure to inspire and relate to any audience. His talk resonates with people on so many different levels and can be easily adapted to any occasion. It’s a real life story about finding what makes you happy.
Ben has delivered over 400 talks reaching 90,600 people since completing his 401 Challenge. His teaching includes healing through support, achieving goals and above all, proves that with happiness and a strong foundation, anything is possible. Other areas include LGBTQ+ and mental health.
Awards for the 401 Challenge Ben and The 401 Challenge have both won numerous awards including:
BBC Sports Personality of the Year – Helen Rollason Award 2016
Pride of Britain National and Regional Fundraiser of the Year 2016
Commendations from Her Majesty The Queen
Commendations from HRH Prince William and the Prime Minister
These are great and Ben is very grateful for them, but what motivates Ben is the positive effect the 401 Challenge has had and continues to have on hundreds of thousands of people around the world…
‘I recognised in Ben somebody who saw that his life wasn’t going the way he wanted it to and he was brave enough and strong enough to alter its direction. On the first day I met Ben, I watched him tell his story to a roomful of teenage kids, it came straight from the heart. It sounds like a simple message, but his story has so many layers to it, which is why Ben inspires so many people for so many different reasons.”
Steve Cram CBE – Former Olympic Athlete
‘So many people end up on a path they don’t really want to be on, but they haven’t got the strength and courage to turn back and try another way instead. Ben has taught people that it’s never too late to completely change your life around and be the person you really want to be. He’s motivated so many kids and adults who have been bullied to re-build their self confidence, and therefore their lives.
His story has helped so many people, but he doesn’t think he is special, which is what is so special about him. I love that I got to meet him. I admire him so much.’
Paula Radcliffe MBE – Olympian and Marathon World Record Holder
‘Ben’s delivery of his personal story and journey was done in an authentic way. The audience could really relate to Ben and found his talk very moving. It really did start a conversation within the Company to talk more openly about mental health.’
‘Your talk set an important tone for the rest of the day. The day was attended by 150 members of the paediatric multi-professional teams mainly from the Great North Children’s Hospital, but also colleagues’ working across the North East and it was a great success.’
The Great North Children’s Hospital