• Christopher McPhillips

RIP Nicholas Vafio

Nick was a passionate film maker and took his personal development and growth seriously. Nick was well travelled and educated in respected establishments in London (Metropolitan Film School), Glasgow (SAE Institute) and Ottawa, Canada. He produced and directed several projects including a mockumentary titled Nosfera2.0, a documentary titled Greek Crisis Ground Zero and a well-received theatre production called Whose Crisis Is It Anyway? Through his studies and hands-on experience he acquired all the fundamental skills one needs in order to make a quality digital film, documentary or theatre performance. And that he did. When it came to film making and theatre creation Nick was more than a safe pair of hands, He was a skilled film practitioner from preproduction, production and postproduction. That is just one part of his life, a part that gave him a lot of joy. There was a lot more to Nick than film making. Nick was a Support Worker with Garvald Centre in Edinburgh since 2002. Garvald Edinburgh is a Scottish Charity offering creative opportunities and support for people with learning disabilities. They are inspired by the ideas of the educator and philosopher, Rudolf Steiner and have been operating in Edinburgh since 1969.

When my wife and I would meet with Nick he was beam with happiness and stories from something a service user had done or said and how much he valued the work of a Support Worker. More recently Nick utilised his experience, skills and love for his job to the Thistle Foundation. Thistle is an Edinburgh-based charity supporting people with long term health conditions and disabilities to live life on their terms. Everyone at Garvald and Thistle will miss Nick greatly. Nick was also a self-employed Therapist. Nick had been a respected Therapist since May 2006, providing therapy using the Mickel Therapy model. Mickel Therapy is a talking based treatment for conditions including Anxiety, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Depression, Fibromyalgia, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, M.E/Post Viral Fatigue, Stress & other chronic illnesses. Mickel Therapy is a treatment developed in 1999 by a medical doctor (Dr David Mickel) which seeks to address problems with the Hypothalamus gland in the brain. This gland which normally regulates everything in the body becomes overactive creating a wide range of symptoms. This is Nick all over, wanting to get to the root cause of problems, the nucleus of the issue and helping people heal and grow.

It's truly amazing how small this world is. I am privileged to write this obituary on his website and I would like to share a short personal story with you. In late 2008 I started acting professionally and in 2009 or 2010, right now I can't remember, I actually auditioned for Nick for a project he was working on at the SAE Institute in Glasgow. I remember it like it was yesterday, mostly because I was crapping my pants as I drove from Bathgate to Glasgow. I remember bombing so hard that I forgot the melody for Staying Alive which was 50% of the audition. I was to be a heartbroken boyfriend who had just split with his partner, sitting in a bar drunk and singing this song into my beer. I think I was okay with the dialogue but I completely blanked at the song. What I noticed is that Nick didn't drop his head like I did mine, he was very nice and thanked me and said I hope we can work on this project or another in the future. Oh and he let me finish also, I think I was have struggled on the drive home if he had stopped midway through the song. Nick was Electra's best friend here in Scotland from around 2008 when she started studying at Queen Margaret University. Electra was on a personal development journey so there was no surprise that they clicked. Fast forward to 2015 when Electra and I met on an acting project (you all already know that story), but apart from having these interconnected walks of life, Nick was the translator for our wedding service and speeches. I tell you want; Nick done an amazing job! He made what was my biggest worry on our big day something that was a highlight. I'll never ever forget that Nick and especially your translation of the story behind the McPhillips clan "tartan". I'll add more short personal stories to this blog as they come in from the small group of friends that are trying to arrange everything.

If you would like to donate towards the funeral costs please see the link to a Just Giving page. https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/nicholasvafio

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