Love Island star Anton Danyluk has launched an app to help kids after he was bullied in school.
The 28-year-old, from Airdrie, claims he was tormented over his weight as a youngster sparking his passion for fitness as a teenager.
Now he has created a free app with his mother, Sherie Ann Danyluk, which targets children from ages four and up to improve their mental health.
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The Can-Do Crew aims to help kids with exercise, mood, health, and hygiene so they can work on being “the best versions of themselves”.
It includes characters created by Sherie which give children daily tasks and goals to boost their self-care skills like making the bed, brushing their teeth, and building confidence.
Anton told the Glasgow Times he felt the app would have helped him as a youngster.
He said: “I felt like a tubby kid and got bullied, it is never a great thing it doesn’t feel good.
“I now feel it is my responsibility to use the platform Love Island gave me to help as many people as I can.
“I created The Can-Do Crew app with my mother to empower and educate children so they can be the very best versions of themselves.
“When I was at school bullying ended there but now kids have social media so they go home and can still face more of it.
“I don’t want that to happen so I hope my app can promote a healthy lifestyle and also let kids process their emotions, so they don’t become bullies either.
“I think the app would have helped me when I was younger. I would have used it.”
Anton rocketed to fame after his Love Island 2019 appearance on ITV and now is focusing on his fitness career.
It comes after he struggled with portion control as a youngster and finding a balance between food and exercise.
It left him struggling with body issues and getting teased in school from his peers which left him feeling down.
His mum then encouraged him to attend the gym which “changed his life” as it triggered his love of working out.
He hopes the app will teach youngsters how to get involved in fitness and how to look after their bodies.
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Anton said: “Growing up I just ate a lot of my mum’s home cooking, but I wasn’t exercising so the weight went on.
“At 15 my mum dragged me to the gym to get out of my rut and help my mental health.
“It completely changed my life and now I really want to help other people do the same.
“I especially want to help children, that is my passion. I want them to enjoy exercise and self-care in a fun way.”
The app was launched at the start of the year and focuses around six characters who each focus on a different area of self-care.
Pop works out with the children, Franko helps with food, Maizie organises chores, Candie targets hygiene, Cornie works with emotions, and Kernel helps with gratitude.
It also includes a “parent area” that allows adults to check their children’s progress.
The characters appear in videos for the children reminding them why their tasks are so important and why they should do them.
They are based on popcorn as Sheri invented them when she was building her healthy pop-corn business 30 years ago.
After Anton grew up with them, he wanted to share them with others to help spread his mission to help others.
Sheri said: “I believe values start at home in your household, the app will help create self-respect and routine which is so important.
“It focuses on making sure children are happy inside and out by making their tasks and opening up about feelings as easy as possible.
“I made up the characters in the early 90’s so it is great to see them being used in the app.”
Lisa Armstrong, Interim Director of respectme, Scotland’s Anti-Bullying Service, said: “Every young person in Scotland deserves to grow up in environments where they are valued, respected and safe from bullying.
“Bullying can have negative impacts on children and young people’s health and wellbeing and can feel overwhelming. Having open and supportive conversations and ensuring they know how to get help if they are affected by bullying is important.
“Talking with children and young people about recognising bullying behaviour, how it is making them feel and exploring options together to deal with and cope with bullying, will help to minimise the harmful effects that bullying can have in the present and into adulthood.”
If you are struggling with bullying, you can contact charity RespectMe at firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 0344 800 8600.
If you are struggling with mental health issues you can call Samaritans on 116 123 or email email@example.com.
Childline is also available for children and young people under the age of 19 on 0800 1111, the number will not show up on your phone bill.