Singer Gareth Gates is the latest celebrity to show support for Stay Strong :) with a wristband.
Gates, who turned 29 at the weekend was bullied as a teenager for his severe stammer, which gained the Nation’s sympathy when he shot to fame in Pop Idol in 2002, aged just 17.
Speaking of his traumatic past, Gareth believes he is a stronger person, saying “The stuff I had to go through as a kid with my stammer and being bullied for it and those sorts of hardships that I’ve put up with have actually served me really well.”
Gareth continues: “I’m immune or numb to the things that get written about me in the press because I’ve had a lot worse things said to me well before I was in the public eye and had the mick ripped out of me which in a way made me hardened to any of that sort of stuff. But sure, some of the things that were in the press,particularly in the early days, I’d rather not have seen. I don’t see why you should have to tell the whole world about your private life.”
Although the bullying stopped, Gareth still struggled with his stammer and decided to get help from The McGuire Technique. Gareth is passionate about stopping teenagers and children having to go through the bullying he endured, so in 2012 he presented the BBC3 documentary Gareth Gates – ‘Stop My Stutter’ to teach young people with a stammer the technique in a bid to change their lives. Gareth, now a qualified teacher, spent 4 days teaching these students and learning about their individual goals and challenges. The film also follows up their stories when they return to their everyday routines. This was a life changing experience for each and every one of them. He also talked about how this affliction shaped his own life and made him who he is today.
Gates is also passionate about young people achieving their dreams and set up the ‘Gates and Wilkes Academy of Performing Arts‘ for young people from 5-18, in his home town of Bradford.
Gareth, who performed in Cornwall for a private concert was keen to support Amy’s campaign and eagerly wore his wristband to show his support. Gareth wishes Amy all the best of luck with her campaign.
Find out more about Gareth at www.garethgates.com/bio/