David smiling and looking to camera

What we do

Changing Faces is the UK’s leading charity for people with a scar, mark or condition. Learn more about how we support the visible difference community.

Our vision at Changing Faces is a future where everyone with a visible difference or disfigurement has the confidence, support and opportunity to lead the lives they want.

We provide unique and life-changing wellbeing, counselling support, skin camouflage and education services. We also campaign to challenge attitudes, prejudice and discrimination so that people with visible differences can lead the lives they choose.

On this page, we explore the motivation and strategy behind what we do and share some of the ways you can help.

Why our work is important

People with visible differences or disfigurements can face multiple challenges. Our research shows that they are often vulnerable to isolation, loneliness, social anxiety and low self-esteem. They can face staring, harassment, bullying and hate crime.

“I really don’t know if I would be the person I am today without Changing Faces and being able to meet other people with a facial difference… They understand. I’m not on my own. It’s like a weight has been lifted. I am not someone who looks different, I am just me.”

Marcus, age 16, who has a facial cleft and cleft palate

People who look different can experience lowered expectations in school, problems getting work and stereotyping in the media. They are also severely under-represented in public life and decision-making.

  • 1 in 3

    Feel depressed, sad or anxious

    as a result of having a visible difference

  • 36%

    have experienced hostile behaviours

    as a result of their visible difference

  • 23%

    feel self-conscious or embarrassed in public

    as a result of their visible difference

Our strategy

Our ambition is to build and grow our charity so that we can have the greatest possible impact – always keeping the voices of people affected by visible difference at the heart of our approach.

“I still remember those days when I couldn’t go out of my front door because of how I felt about myself and the fear of the comments and abuse I would get. My worry is that for many, like myself, who have built a life and have become resilient that this period of isolation will lead us to regress so that at the end of all this we will have lost the confidence to go back out and regain our lives.”

Brenda, Changing Faces Ambassador, who has alopecia, commenting on the impact of COVID-19

We know there are thousands more people who need our help. We won’t stop until everyone with a visible difference has the confidence, support and opportunity to live the lives they want.

To this end, we have four strategic themes:

#1. To be the leading provider of service innovation for those with a visible difference

We will innovate, evaluate impact, and demonstrate excellence in our services – based on an in-depth understanding of our service users’ needs. We will increase the reach of services through effective use of digital, and we will use our evidence and expertise to inspire and influence best practice in support of those with a visible difference.

#2. To champion the voice of those with a visible difference

We are determined to empower people affected by visible difference to tell their stories and be heard. We will raise awareness of the reality of living with visible difference, change attitudes and challenge prejudice. We will be an expert on the issues affecting people with visible differences and use our evidence to secure positive social and policy change.

#3. To achieve long-term financial sustainability

We will manage our finances responsibly and ensure there is greater predictability and sustained growth in our funding, while minimising risk by developing a more balanced portfolio of funding sources.

#4. To build a highly efficient and effective organisation

We will build an open, values-led culture of innovation and high-performance. We will have a transparent and effective governance structure and build a working environment that encourages learning and innovation. We will prioritise and evaluate what is critical to our success and report regularly and transparently our performance. We will build our digital vision, skills, culture, and capability.

How you can support our work

There are loads of great ways you can join us and support people with visible differences.

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Donate now

Your donation will enable us to provide counselling, wellbeing and skin camouflage services, as well as deliver our campaigning work.

Campaign with us

Support our campaigns to help raise awareness of visible difference and the discrimination faced by people who look different.

Partner with us

If you're a company, trust or foundation, you can support people with a visible difference by partnering with Changing Faces.