We've been campaigning for face equality since May 1992

What we do

Changing Faces is the UK’s leading charity for the 1.3 million people in the UK with a visible difference: a mark, scar or condition that makes them look different.

We provide advice, support and psychosocial services to children, young people and adults. We challenge discrimination and we campaign for Face Equality: a world that truly values and respects people who look different

We want a future where everyone with a visible difference on their face or body has the confidence, support and opportunity to lead the lives they want.

Why our work is needed

People with visible differences or disfigurements face multiple challenges. They are vulnerable to isolation, loneliness, social anxiety and low self-esteem. They face staring, harassment, bullying and hate crime. They experience lowered expectations in school, problems getting work and stereotyping in the media. They are severely under-represented in public life and decision-making.

Among children and young people:

  • Less than a third of children say they would be friends with a child with a visible difference
  • Almost half of young people who have a visible difference are bullied at school
  • Half of young people say they have witnessed negative behaviour towards a person with a visible difference – like staring, pointing or saying something nasty to them, or taking a photo of them.

“It’s important to understand that looking different doesn’t mean we’re strange – if there was more awareness maybe there would be less bullying. If there were less bullying – we’d feel more confident.” – Sam, 13

Among adults:

  • Two thirds have experienced unpleasantness from a stranger
  • A third have experienced hate crime
  • Four-fifths have avoided applying for a job because they thought their appearance would hinder them at interview

At Changing Faces we believe this is wrong. We want everyone with a visible difference to have the confidence and support to lead the lives they want and realise their potential.

How does Changing Faces help?

People with visible differences have told us about the transformational impact our work can have. Our psychosocial and wellbeing services build confidence and resilience – giving people with visible differences tools to manage their feelings, cope in different social settings, handle other people’s reactions or deal with transitions such as starting school. Our campaigns challenge the negative attitudes and perceptions and behaviours they face every day and empower them to speak out, tell their stories and call for change.

“The act of talking about it with someone who also had a visible difference was great -freeing- I’d kept it to myself for so long”

Wellbeing Service User

Our work is focused on three key areas:

Psychosocial Support and Wellbeing – We help to build people’s confidence and self-esteem by:

  • Offering sensitive, confidential and empowering support through our unique package of help, either through sessions face-to-face or by phone, email information and online self-help guides
  • Running small group workshops, themed appropriately for children, young people and their families so that people can meet others in similar situations
  • Running a bi-monthly ‘get together’ for adults to enable people to meet and socialise in a safe space and build confidence in social situations

Education and Advocacy – We work to change social attitudes by:

  • Influencing government, opinion formers, the media and society – to drive policy, cultural and social changes that benefit those who look different
  • Running hard-hitting campaigns to raise awareness of the issues faced by people who look different and call for positive change
  • Developing powerful resources for schools and teachers to create school environments that value visible difference, ensuring that the barriers that hold children back are broken down
  • Educating, training and informing businesses to develop new beliefs, expectations and practices

Skin Camouflage – We help people with a visible difference to manage their appearance-related concerns more easily by:

  • Advising people with disfigurements on skin camouflage cover creams which they can use to reduce the impact of skin conditions, birthmarks or other marks or scars that may be causing concern

Our aim is to improve peoples’ wellbeing, build resilience and change social attitudes.