An inspirational Edge Hill University student has shown his bullies that he’s no victim and has scooped an award by dedicating his time to helping others.

It is Psychology student Kristian Richings’ outstanding work within the charity sector that has been recognised with an Edge Hill University Excellence Scholarship in Volunteering

Kristian was a victim of bullying at a younger age but the harrowing experience didn’t break him and instead sparked a passion for helping children overcome personal struggles.

Now the 23-year-old from Gloucestershire juggles voluntary roles for various organisations including the NSPCC and Child Line with his degree studies.

He said: “I know what it’s like to be bullied, I’ve been through it myself and it makes you feel scared, anxious and causes low self-confidence. I’ve come through these hard times and I want to use my own personal experience to show these young people that they can reach their full potential in whatever they choose to pursue.”

Kristian also suffers from Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, an inflammation on the brain and spinal cord that can cause long term illness and disability. But he is battling his illness and now studies Psychology at Edge Hill where he hopes to go on to have a career in Clinical Psychology.

“I really want a job that involves improving the lives of people with various neurological issues to ensure they have a better quality of life and personal well-being,” said Kristian.

“I would also love to put a project together that would allow Edge Hill societies to include children in the local area in extracurricular activities on campus. It would be nice to think that this kind of charity work with young people could have a lasting positive reaction on future generations.

“I’m so glad that Edge Hill University regards voluntary work so highly. There’s a lot of amazing people who have supported me here. Students and staff are the ones that inspire me to do more and be the best that I can be.”

The scholarship award will help Kristian reduce the amount of hours he works in order to pursue more voluntary charitable opportunities.

He said: “I’m so happy that I have won this scholarship because I will be able to reduce the amount of time I have to work and I will be able to put more time into my voluntary projects. It will also allow me to manage my illness more effectively.”