Ben Smith is a treasured mental health advocate, best known as the proud Founder of the 401 Foundation. From attempting to commit suicide twice to completing 401 marathons in 401 days, his distinguished career is admired by professionals worldwide. Also focusing his talent on writing, Ben has become the proud author of ‘401’, a publication which shares his journey to success whilst struggling greatly with his mental health. As the recipient of the Power of Light Award, given to him by the Prime Minister, Ben is an inspiration to audiences around the world and is now highly sought after as an informative mental health speaker for a wide range of events internationally.
Growing up in an environment surrounded by bullies, Ben suffered greatly with his self-esteem and confidence for many years. Discovering he was gay at the age of 13, he felt trapped and alone at this point in his life and later tried to take his own life two consecutive times because he saw no other way out. Following this by leading a life to please others, Ben suffered temporary loss of sight, hearing, feeling, and speech, and finally decided a change needed to be made. Determined to turn his life around, he leant on friends and family for support and decided to openly come out as gay.
At the age of 30, Ben found a sense of escape at a local running club. As a way to help him manage his mental well-being, he decided to take his past experiences and turn them into something positive. As the Creator of The 401 Challenge, he completed 401 marathons in 401 days across the UK to raise £250,000 for two anti-bullying charities to ensure that the younger generation does not go through what he has previously experienced. Aiming to empower people to speak up about their feeling and past trauma, Ben is esteemed for setting up The 401 Foundation in 2017 and creating a supportive network for individuals across the UK.
A leading authority in his field, Ben Smith is now highly sought-after to attend speaking engagements internationally. Renowned for speaking on topics such as mental resilience, peak performance, and equality, his ability to open up about his mental health is admired by a wide range of audiences. Beloved for his remarkable achievements, Ben delivered the TEDx Talk ‘Happiness’. When looking to hire an inspirational speaker, do not hesitate in hiring Ben today.
“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.”
“We have been so lucky as an organisation to have had some great speakers at our events over the last 20 years, but Ben Smith stands out as one of the very best. His story resonates with us all. Anyone who has been touched by adversity will relate to Ben’s experiences, but his story of resilience is truly inspirational. He has a unique skill in making his story relatable at the same time as astonishing us with his incredible achievements, all told with great humility. Ben’s story is one that needs to be heard, and he is superb at telling it.”
“This event was a huge success and many thanks Chris for highlighting Ben to us. Please can you pass our sincere thanks to Ben, we have received so many wonderful comments from staff, saying how much they enjoyed his story which was both incredibly moving and inspiring and many look forward to reading his book.”