Nicholas' work tackling bullying leads to recognition in Hollywood release
PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 May 2018
A Weston-super-Mare boy who overcame years of bullying to win a royal prize has been honoured in the release of a Hollywood film.
Nicholas Nikiforou, aged 11, has been featured in an insert in the DVD release of Wonder, which stars Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson.
The award-winning anti-bullying campaigner has been praised for ‘promoting a message of kindness and compassion wherever he goes’.
Nicholas’ mum Melanie Andrews told the Mercury of her ‘pride’ for her son, who ‘only wants to make people happy.
The film follows a child named Auggie, who has Treacher Collins Syndrome and suffers at the hands of bullies for being different.
But he overcomes being marginalised to become a popular student and a role model.
Like Auggie, Nicholas was born with a facial difference, known as congenital melanocystic nevus, as he had a collection of moles on his face.
Scars left behind after a surgery to remove the moles made him the target of bullies at school, but his efforts as an anti-bullying campaigner earned praise from the royal family in the form of a Princess Diana Legacy Award in 2017 – presented by Prince William and Prince Harry.
The DVD insert hails Nicholas’ efforts, and calls for people to submit nominations for the Diana Award.
It read: “Nicholas was born with a facial difference – but he’s never let it hold him back.
“As a facial equality advocate and anti-bullying ambassador, he promotes a message of kindness and compassion wherever he goes, whether that be online, in schools, or even on live TV.”
Nicholas’ mum Melanie said: “Wonder is a miracle and it has come at a poignant time with him just about to go to secondary school. Everyone will know what he has been through at school and in everyday life. It has come at the right time.
“This film means so much to him. I cried through the whole thing, every family member goes on a journey which is shown in the film.
“We are so proud of Nicholas. The only thing he wants to do is make people happy.
“He’s here to put Weston on the map for the right reasons, and this is not just about him. He wants to support every child and keep Diana’s legacy going.”