Ben Rist was born on the 18th September 1993 (29 Years Old) at Maidstone Hospital. He was bought up on a housing association/council estates. He first remembers living in Tovil, known to be a "rough" area around Maidstone. His father left when he was just three years old and for eight years was bought up by his mum Sarah. When he was eight he had his step dad to whom he had a bad relationship with growing up but has since grown up and realised his step father is a father in his life. Kevin went to school and choir performances, parents evenings and has been a male role model to him. His male role models are, his step father Kevin and his late Grand Father Fredrick Rose who passed away in 2017.
When he was seven, he became a member of the boys and mens choir at All Saints Church, Maidstone and was taught how to sing, read music and understand music by Peter Richards (who was unfairly suspended from his role in 2013 after false allegations were made against him). He sang treble until he was sixteen (nearly seventeen) and then joined the bass section of the choir. He sand in the choir until late last year singing Tenor and Bass under Peter Richards successor Charlotte O'Neil and is still a keen advocate for protection of the choral tradition of all male choirs.
He has been in a choir since the age of seven. Music has helped him with his mental health since the age of 13. He was introduced to rock music by his best friend Kim Hargreaves at the age of 12 and this was 30 Seconds To Mars who are a rock band led by actor and singer Jared Leto. When he was 13, he started self-harming and was helped through this and many other dark periods by My Chemical Romance - a rock and roll band formed in New Jersey and led by singer Gerard Way they split up in 2013.
When he was 17, he created a hip-hop band called GRB with his friends Lauren Blackston and Connor. Connor was then dropped from GRB and replaced by Rebecca Delaney. The group was set up at Walk Tall Performing Arts Acadamy the band broke up after six months. Ben sites former Walk Tall Arts Teacher (now an artist) Leon Hudson as the greatest mentor he's ever had.
Ben then went on to do a solo project called "Bendubz" the nickname was given to him originally by Performing Arts Tutor Sophie Turner (who mothered the GRB crew when they were all at Performing Arts and encouraged them to do their best).
Ben, now 29 has now has released for full length album's and two EPs. His first album 'I Made You Think, You Stole My Love' a pop-rock, alternative album in 2015, he then released 'A Little Hope' EP in 2017 a pop concept record called 'Image of Revolution'. His third album was called "The Fight For Our Lives" and was released in August 2019. His latest album is about mental health and is a mixture of spoken word and alternative songs. The album is a concept album about dealing with mental health in a relationship and feeling abandoned. The album is simply called "abandoned" it was released in March 2021.
Ben first started politics when he joined Medway Youth Parliament at the age of 13. He represented his school New Brompton College (now known as Brompton Acadamey and youth club GYFC (Gillingham Youth For Christ). He later became a cabinet member of youth parliament for the Community Issues sub comitee and then represented the youth parliament on the Medway Youth Trust Youth Forum. Whilst at the youth forum he became one of the first youth trustees at Medway Youth Trust.
In 2010 he joined the Liberal Democrats Party and composed and sang one song for them produced by Peter Cook (Acadamy of Rock) and sang on a song called "Democracy" written and produced by Peter Cook. It became the 2010 campaign song. He later defected from the Liberal Democrats and joined the Labour Party.
In 2014 during the Rochester & Strood byelection he worked hard campaigning for the Labour candidate Naushabah Khan. During the by-election he opposed a far-right anti-Islam movement called Britain First. He was exposed on Facebook by the group as a 'Labour Party Thug' and received death threats from supporters of the group.
In August 2016, Ben became a member of the left wing socialist movment supporting Jeremy Corbyn called Momentum and was also a member and activist of the Labour Party.
In October 2019, Ben became vice chair of the Chatham Labour Branch and resigned in May 2020 after a purge of Jeremy Corbyn supporters was initiated by the Labour Party leader Kier Starmer in amongst the mess of the bullying towards the left, revealed by the leaked Labour Report which reported alot more than antisemetism and proactively accuses senior party figures of undermining former leader Jeremy Corbyn while Corbyn was in charge.
In 2021, Ben Rist re-joined the Liberal Democrats to which he describes as his political home.
During the 2021 Princes Park by-election, Ben thought strategically about who to support to get both Conservatives and Labour out. He then announced via his blog that he had rejoined the Liberal Democrats sending nothing but love to the Green Party. Ben is currently social secretary for the Medway Liberal Democrats.
Ben is passionate about the environment, equality, homelessness, and better services for people with mental health issues.
Ben is stood as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Peninsula byelection on December 8th 2022.
Ben will be standing as one of the Lib Dem candidates in Medways local elections in May 2023. Ben will be the candidate for TBC in March 2023.
Ben was bought up Anglican (Church of England) but never believed until August 2013 when he first started attending Kings Church in Chatham where he gave his life to Jesus. He was baptised by full immersion in water in December 2013. In April 2014, he moved into Kings Church Community and shared a dorm with five other males and lived on a bunk where he learned more about Christianity and the Bible.. Ben left and fell away from the faith for eight years.
Ben Rist currently identifes as Agnostic.
Ben has always enjoyed working and used to help young people in numerous ways.
In 2012, he volunteered on the National Citizens Service which was a pilote programme at the time with Catch 22. He has been Assistant NCS Team Leader ever since at various youth organisations such as Medway Youth Trust and CXKltd.
In 2016 Ben used to volunteer at Switch Youth Café and support Maidstone Youth Forum. He then moved on to be one of Lead Mentors on Catch-22's National Citizens Service.
Ben started working at Burger King, Crossways, Dartford in October 2016 and then left due to travel distance in March 2017 where he started working for McDonalds Medway Valley Park. He then resigned with immediate affect on the 28th April 2017 after being bullied by management.
He went back to Burger King in January 2021. He got suspended after his grandmother died on the 31st December 2020 due to comments on social media saying he feels fast food restaurants aren't essential and shouldn't be open. He then resigned from Burger King and started working at KFC in February 2021 but was dismissed after not being able to complete training hours due to police mental health sections around that time.
Ben has a vast career in acting aswell; here's a list in chronological order:
Read, Regard, React (2017), ITV Fixers. Ben performed the lead role and the narrator in this anxiety awareness video
Fort Amherst Halloween Horrors (2017 - Present) This is a live scare event at Halloween to raise money for Chatham's Fort Amherst
This Is Why (2019), This is why is a suicide prevention film by the Improving Mental Health Provision CIC Media Club. Ben co-direxted this and played himself in the film.
Ben is diagnosed with EUPD (BPD), Psycosis, Anxiety and Depression. Ben is an advocate for mental health issues and spends his time co-directing Improving Mental Health Provision CIC (IMHP) with Abigail Ziering-Lewis, the lead vocalist in Luna Lacuna, who Ben sites as a big brother.