A dad whose little boy is having his life made a misery by bullies took to Twitter to ask if 'anyone famous/well known' could send his son a birthday greeting - and the response was truly amazing.
Writing on the social media site, the dad, Christopher Hope-Smith, said that his son Ollie wasn't that bothered about celebrating his birthday after one particular bully made him so miserable.
Christopher wrote: "The bully keeps saying to him that everything O has, he has bigger/better/more often. O excited for his birthday but keeps being told it won't be as good as his own.
"I would be so grateful and I appreciate it is an odd request. Just would love someone to tell him he does mean something and bullying is not OK, ever."
The power of Twitter meant that Christopher's message soon went viral - and everyone from movie stars to politicians were sending Ollie birthday greetings and messages of support.
Grime artist Stormzy tweeted: "Happy birthday Ollie! You're a lil legend. Don't watch the bullies they always end up being the biggest wastemen later in life."
While astronaut Tim Peake wrote: "Hope your 9th birthday is out of this world Ollie. Just remember - a bully is a person too scared to do the right thing. Aim high dude!"
Movie legend Russell Crowe also posted his best wishes, tweeting: "Hey Ollie, heard it was your birthday. 9 years old eh? Congratulations, Happy Birthday!!"
Labour MP David Lammy wished Ollie a happy birthday and offered to give him a tour of Parliament, and actor/comedian Rufus Hound told the youngster: "Have an amazing birthday. One day, when you're all old like your Mum and Dad you'll realise you were winning all along."
Strictly Come Dancing's Ore Oduba also gave the little lad words of encouragement, tweeting: "Another year bigger, bolder, braver ... And a better man than any of those bullies ever will be! Have an amazing day."
Wading through the hundreds of posts, Ollie's stunned dad later replied:
"Guys, this has gone crazy and I appreciate all the wonderful messages. Did not expect the reaction it has received. I for one thank each and everyone of you. I will respond as and when I can, I promise."
Ollie's mum Natalie also posted on the thread, with a message explaining that the family had been "battling with this matter for over a year" and are "only just now being listened to"...
"It is heartbreaking listening to an 8-year-old think that he is worthless and 'shouldn't be here'," she wrote.
"I know that we are definitely not the only ones in the world to be going through this but I just want to say, from the bottom of my heart 'thank you' so much. You really don't know what this means, Natalie xx"
Verbal bullying - and any kind of unkindness - is just rotten for children, isn't it? But what a heartwarming story this has turned out to be ❤️
We'd like to add our very best wishes to Ollie for his 9th birthday, too - Happy Birthday Ollie, friend of the stars!
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