TAUNTON teenager with a genetic condition who was bullied for his appearance is working with a charity to try to prevent other children going through the same ordeal.

Ashley Carter, now 17, was subjected to cruel taunts during his school years.

He has linked up with youth charity Fixers to stop other young people being bullied because they look different.

Ashley has Treacher Collins syndrome and was born without any ears, a receding jaw and no cheekbones.

He has had more than 30 operations including a jaw distraction, which involves breaking the jaw on a daily basis in order to bring it forward.

He said: "It has been very painful, and it’s not a nice feeling to be sitting at home in pain."

But almost worse than the surgery, was the bullying that Ashley endured at primary school.

He said: "During the final year of school two boys started picking on me.

"They called me things like ‘ugly’ and ‘troll’, and other really horrible names.

"There were times when I would run out of the classroom and sit in the corridor sobbing.

"It got worse and worse. They started pushing me around and one of them pinned me up against the wall in the school corridor.

"I didn’t know why they were treating me like that and it was an awful time.

"I would come home every day upset and crying."

Ashley said the bullying made him feel anxious and unhappy.

He added: "One night I went to go and see my friend.

"She only lived around the corner from me so I walked round on my own.

"As soon as I stepped into her road, I saw the two boys standing there. They saw me and started chasing me.

"I ran home as fast I could. I could have been run over by a car, because I raced out into the road without looking, I was that scared.

"I got home and I was crying my eyes out. I felt upset, distraught and really emotional."

After Ashley’s parents went to see the head teacher, the bullies were dealt with and he was moved into a different class.

Now Ashley has created a film with Fixers to show the impact of bullying and prevent it from happening to other children.

His mum, Louise Carter, said: "It was hard to see Ashley come home from school feeling so upset and it was difficult to know what I could do.

"From the experience we had with Ashley I would advise parents to speak to the head teacher of the school and to make the parents of the bullies aware of what is happening – sometimes it’s a case of them needing to educate their children.

"I’m proud of Ashley for this campaign. Being bullied can have a huge impact on someone, the emotional scars can live with you forever, and hopefully this can help raise awareness."

Ashley’s campaign has been supported by Charlotte Roberts of the anti-bullying charity STRIVE – Off the Record.

She said: "Around 50 per cent of young people have experienced or are experiencing bullying. There’s still a stigma around talking about it.

"Ashley’s project is so important because it means that young people know they are not alone and there are other people of their age experiencing the same thing."

Ashley hopes to share his campaign on social media so it will be seen by as many people as possible.

He added: "I have seen other people being bullied all around school, around the town and it’s not a nice thing to do.

"I hope this project will get the message across to people who are bullying and make them think – ‘I shouldn’t be doing this. I need to stop before I get any worse'."