The family of a young rider who took his own life are campaigning for an end to bullying.
Bradley John, 14, died on 14 September, having been being bullied at school.
His family is sharing Bradley’s story to raise awareness of the devastating impact bullying can have. They hope their campaign will help prevent anything like it from happening again.
The family is calling for people to be kind to each other and for anyone who is contemplating suicide to seek help and talk to someone about how they are feeling.
Bradley shared a love of horses and the outdoors with his family. He was whipper-in at the Three Counties Bloodhounds, of which his father, Byron John, and step-mother Kate Pickard are founder masters.
Friends and members of the hunting community have been remembering Bradley and showing their support for his family and the anti-bullying campaign through videos of them blowing a hunting horn, with the hashtag #blowforbradley.
The support for #blowforbradley has grown rapidly across the wider equestrian world and the general public, with hundreds pledging their support to the family’s campaign.
Family members were joined by hundreds of people at the David Broome Event Centre in Caldicot on Saturday (22 September) to remember the teenager and to see a bench in his memory placed in the main derby arena.
Commentator Bryan Mcaliece remembered Bradley as someone who was “always smiling” and “chatted to everybody”.
“Bradley was always full of it, whether he was competing, out with hounds, practicing for inter-hunt competitions, or practicing at home over a big gate that David Broome had given him,” he said.
“The outpouring of grief we have seen from all over the country shows how loved this young man was.”
The bench will remain under the tree in show centre’s derby ring, which he had dreamt of riding in, with a plaque inscribed with the words: “In loving memory of Bradley John. Broomes was his happy place”.
Kate and Byron joined Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on ITV’s This Morning on Monday (24 September) and encouraged any child who is affected by bullying to talk to someone about what is happening and to realise they are not the one at fault.
If you need support and want someone to talk to, the Samaritans helpline is open 24-hours on 116 123, or visit their website at www.samaritans.org. BullyingUK is another charity offering advice and support, on 0808 800 2222 or www.bullying.co.uk
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