Our ambassadors

Our ambassadors are passionate about sharing their experiences of living with a visible difference to bring about real change across society.

Changing Faces ambassadors generously give their time to support our work, helping us raise our profile and increase awareness about issues such as mental health, hate crime, representation and the impact of discrimination.

Our ambassadors are experienced spokespeople who are passionate about sharing their experiences to bring about real change across society.

You can read their stories below.

If you are interested in arranging an interview, please email [email protected] or call 0207 391 9271 (out of hours call 07823 348125).

Meet our current ambassadors

Adam

A man with a visible difference in a suit with hands clasped

Adam is an award-winning campaigner, actor and presenter. Adam was born with the genetic condition neurofibromatosis, which causes non-cancerous tumours to grow on nerve tissues.

He first became involved with Changing Faces as a child and is now a fantastic ambassador speaking out about important issues such as appearance-related hate crime, as well as guest hosting the Changing Faces podcast, Voices of Visible Difference.

It’s not always easy looking different in a world that is so focused on perfection. Growing up there were no positive role models of people with disfigurements in the media. So now I’m on a mission to be more visible. I speak out and share my experiences, because if it helps one more man, or woman, feel able to share how they’re feeling about their appearance, that’s a job well done.

Amanda

A woman with amniotic band syndrome wearing a patterned dress smiles at the camera.

Amanda was born with a condition called amniotic band syndrome resulting in a cleft lip and palate, missing fingers, clubbed feet and limited vision in one eye. She works at the University of Kent and has a PhD in applied psychology and is a chartered psychologist.

There is no doubt that looking different can be challenging but I wouldn’t change my appearance as I wouldn’t be me anymore, and I’ve come to quite like me, all of me.

After having many surgeries as a child, Amanda is passionate about improving the experiences of people with visible differences within the NHS and society. After experiencing bullying at school which affected her mental health and self-esteem, she is also a strong advocate for the need to support mental health as part of the clinical journey for those with a visible difference.

Read amanda’s story

Brenda

Brenda, who has alopecia, stands in a busy street wearing a beige coat and a blue scarf

When Brenda was 14 years old she woke up one morning to find her pillow covered in hair. She found out she had a condition called alopecia universalis, which meant that she lost all of her hair at a young age.

Throughout her teenage years Brenda had to put up with endless bullying which affected her confidence and self-esteem. But it also made her all the more determined to share her story to help others.

My confidence has rocketed by a zillion miles now I work WITH my hair loss rather than hide away from it. Society constructs concepts and rules about what makes a person ‘beautiful’ but that’s all it is – a construction, not a reality. I hope to show others that the standard of beauty is not definite, we define it.

As an ambassador, Brenda has campaigned on important issues such as hate crime and representation for people who have a visible difference. This includes modelling for Avon as part of the Pledge To Be Seen campaign. Brenda feels strongly that “being unique is something that should be embraced”.

read brenda’s story

Catrin

A woman with long brown hair and wearing a black top smiles at the camera.

Catrin modelling for Avon (Photo credit: Avon UK)

When she was 19, Catrin was in a coach crash, in which she sustained 96% burns across her face and body. After spending 3 months in a coma and going through 200 operations over the last few years, Catrin is now at university studying physiotherapy, specifically around burns rehabilitation.

When I was receiving treatments for my burns, I would read magazines to pass the time and I never saw anyone who looked like me – so to be a part of a mainstream beauty campaign is so important. Hopefully these campaigns will open people’s eyes to the need for more diversity in the fashion and beauty industry and the impact this can have on people’s confidence and self-esteem.

Catrin has modelled for Avon as part of Changing Faces’ Pledge To Be Seen campaign.Read catrin’s story

Phil

Phil who has a birthmark on his face, smiles at the camera. He wears glasses and a black t-shirt.

Phil was born with a birthmark that covers three quarters of his face and parts of his body. Growing up, it wasn’t something that his family really talked about. He was bullied at school and later experienced discrimination in the workplace.

I had an interview at a company that fitted satellite dishes and TV aerials, where the man said, ‘I can’t employ you. I couldn’t send you out to a customer with a face like that’. I found that really upsetting.

Phil now has a successful career with DHL and has shared his experiences with employers as part of our Pledge To Be Seen work as well as being a key spokesperson for our hate crime campaign.

Read phil’s story

Rhona

Rhona in a white top posing for the Portrait Positive photo shoot by Rankin

Rhona poses for the Portrait Positive photo shoot (Credit: Rankin)

Rhona was born with a cleft lip and palate and underwent eight operations while growing up to repair different parts of her mouth. Yet despite this Rhona trained as a classical soprano and performed all over the world. She is currently studying for a PhD.

“Cleft lip and palate is one of the most common facial differences there is – around one in 700 people are born with one – but it still seems to be misunderstood and underrepresented in general society. I had a rough time with appearance-related bullying when I was at school, and even now still have some horrible incidents of street harassment.

This has motivated me to work with charities like Changing Faces, so I can speak out about the impact of bullying and encourage children growing up with clefts to become comfortable in themselves.”

Rhona has shared her experiences as part of our Pledge To Be Seen campaign and was featured in a recent Avon campaign.

Read rhona’s story

Shankar

A man with vitiligo on his face stands in the street wearing a black jacket with green jumper

Shankar has a skin condition called vitiligo which means that he loses the pigment that colours and protects his skin and was diagnosed when he was a teenager.

“I was too afraid to show my vitiligo off as a teenager, especially as it was very visible around my eye. I’d given in to society’s view of perfection and deemed myself un-worthy enough to be myself. I remember feeling anxious, and afraid of what others would think – being called names is something I wanted to avoid at all costs”.

It took me seven years to embrace my vitiligo. Now I speak out about living with a visible difference. I’m trying to spread a message of body positivity to inspire others. More brands and businesses should be embracing diversity, they should reflect who their customers really are.”

Read shankar’s story

Tulsi

Burns survivor Tulsi sits against a blue background. She has her hands to her face, is smiling, and is wearing a yellow jacket and white shirt.

Tulsi modelling for Avon (Photo credit: Avon UK)

When Tulsi was 10 years old she was in a plane crash in which she lost her immediate family and sustained second and third degree burns to almost half of her face and body. For years, Tulsi was bullied for how she looked which affected her mental health.

Having a disfigurement means never having a day off. I don’t get to take my scars off and forget about them. Every day when I leave my house, I need to check in with myself to see how I am going to handle staring or comments people make. We need to get more awareness and have equality.

Today Tulsi is a passionate ambassador for Changing Faces, raising awareness about the impact of abuse and negative stereotypes. Tulsi is a key spokesperson for our hate crime campaign and has modelled for Avon as part of our Pledge To Be Seen campaign to improve representation.

read tulsi’s story

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Our campaigners

Our campaigners are a diverse group of adults from across the UK, united to speak out about living with a visible difference.

Media spokespeople

Meet our spokespeople and find out how you can arrange a media interview with them or a member of our expert team.