YouTube star Adam B’s birthday surprise for bullied Derry teenager Stewart
A Derry teenager who was bullied at school said a gift of £5,000 worth of tech equipment to help him make videos from his YouTube idol Adam B has restored his confidence.
Adam B, aka Adam Beales, reached out to 14-year-old Stewart O’Doherty on his birthday after reading a tweet from Stewart’s sister Molly about what he was enduring in school.
The 21-year-old YouTube star, who has amassed more than three million subscribers to his channel, said he could relate to what the young man was going through. “I went through a very similar position to Stewart,” Adam said. “And the main message in making the video and giving the gifts will be to highlight bullying and the huge negative effects it has on kids.”
Stewart started his own YouTube channel about a year ago but really began making regular YouTube content during lockdown. “When we went back to school in September, the physical bullying started,” said Stewart. “At first it started with sly comments, but then it grew to people physically throwing stuff at me. I didn’t give up on the idea of YouTubing, but I didn’t upload much because of what was happening.”
Stewart’s plight was revealed when he told his 18-year-old sister Molly. “When Stewart told me I was absolutely livid,” she said. I was so annoyed with myself because I hadn’t been able to do anything to help but it was only because I didn’t know. Stewart just loved doing his YouTube channel – it was just silly wee things like challenges and that type of thing. He just enjoyed it. He wasn’t doing any harm and it certainly was no reason for him to be bullied.”
Molly tweeted about the bullying and caught the attention of Blue Peter presenter Adam B, who surprised Stewart on his birthday with a video message. As they chatted on FaceTime, Stewart was told to look outside where Adam was waiting with the tech package of gifts.
“I gave Stewart a laptop, cameras, mics, speakers, GoPros, tripods, a segway, airpods, smart watch, headphones, computer mouse, a camera gimbal plus a few other gadgets to help him on his YouTube journey,” said Adam. “I wanted to give him these gadgets so that he could have a kickstart on YouTube and something to show the bullies that he doesn’t need to listen to them.”
And, Stewart is now even more determined to keep making content. “There are no words for me to say what I want to Adam. He’ll never know what he’s done for me,” he said. “He’s given me back my confidence and I know now that I can pursue – and fulfil – my dream.”
However, he also had a word for his bullies. “Bullying someone for doing what they love to do doesn’t make you a better person.”
Adam meanwhile also revealed he too found it difficult at the start of his YouTube career “when everyone else was talking about you, making fun, calling you names as you walked past them in school corridors”.
“It was horrible and I wish it on no one. Therefore, Stewart’s case hit a nerve. I know exactly what he is going through.”
“I am still baffled as to why people feel the need to mentally / physically/ emotionally attack others for something that doesn’t even affect them. No one should ever tolerate bullying. No one,” said Adam.