Fife woman is helping change attitudes

Anita (left) and Linzie Nicol
Anita (left) and Linzie Nicol

A Kirkcaldy woman who was badly bullied as a child has dedicated 25 years of her life to trying to change people’s attitudes to facial differences.

Linzie Nicol (45), who was born with a cleft lip and palate as well as other complications and has undergone more than 40 operations, has dedicated a large part of her life to volunteering with Changing Faces, the charity which campaigns to help people who have a disfigurement find a way to live the life they want.

And she has spent the last few months promoting the latest publication by the charity, Disfigurement in the UK, which was brought out for Face Equality Day at the end of May, and selling butterfly temporary tattoos to raise funds for the cause.

She also visited the Scottish Parliament to promote the work being done on face equality and took part in an event at Waverley station to help raise awareness.

Linzie said: “I remember growing up in England and being frightened to go to school because I was being bullied. I remember it being worse when I went to secondary school because my face was different from other people’s.

“When Changing Faces started up I was keen to be involved from the start, because both my mum and I said that it would have been easier if there had been something like this around when I was young.

“People’s attitudes are changing, and the work being done by the charity is really helping, so I am pleased to have been a part of it.”

Linzie and her mum Anita have been involved in promoting Changing Faces in various campaigns and appeared on The Hour with Michelle McManus and on posters and publicity material.

“If I can do my bit to help and make a difference to even one person to stop them experiencing what I went through as a child, then it makes it all worthwhile,” said Linzie.

“Children can be very cruel, but I have seen a big change in people’s attitudes and views and the more it is discussed and brought into the open, the better things will be for people whose faces are different from what is considered normal.”