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  1. ITV Report

Anti-Bullying Week: Nathan Abbott defies bullies and raises £30,000 for charity

Nathan Abbott, 22, from West Sussex was bullied mercilessly at school, so badly that he chose to leave.

But since then, Nathan has raised £30,000 for charity, has been nominated for a Pride of Britain award and has founded a charitable fundraising movement called 'Freestyle 4 Smile', which is aimed at raising funds and awareness for Smile Train.

Nathan was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate and he would be bullied mentally and physically for it.

But he decided the bullies weren't going to beat him.

He decided to take up long distance swimming and started fundraising for cleft palate charities.

People would call me names, physically bully me, even to this day I can remember things that have been done to me, and I think it's something you can't get over 100%, you just kind of have to do something about it.

– Nathan Abbott, Fundraiser

Children who have received surgery through his efforts have sent pictures to say thank you.

But Nathan worries that with modern technology and social media, it is harder to escape the bullies.

The main message I would give to children who are suffering from bullying, is never to listen to bullies in the first place, although that is difficult. But also to manipulate that negative energy towards something positive and just make the best of their lives.

– Nathan Abbott, Fundraiser
Nathan's appearance has changed dramatically following surgery.

Nathan has suffered dozens of painful surgeries on his nose and mouth over the years.

But it was the bullying that caused him most pain.

Nathan has undergone dozens of painful surgeries.

Next year, Nathan will be undertaking a 60 mile swim around the Isle of Wight, with a target of completed 20 miles a day for a consecutive three days.

The challenge will take place soon after one of his last operations and it will also mark the final year of his surgery journey.

  • Nathan joined our presenters Fred Dinenage and Sangeeta Bhabra in the studio: