Changing Faces will do all it can to help support victims of this tragedy

Responding to the Grenfell Tower disaster

Everyone at Changing Faces has been shocked and deeply saddened by the fire at Grenfell Tower in west London on 14th June. Our thoughts are with the family, friends and loved ones of those affected, and with the whole community which has been left in shock.

London’s emergency services worked tirelessly and heroically to help rescue people from the Tower, and to care for them in the aftermath. Changing Faces has worked for many years with the London & South East England Burn Network and with specialist burns teams at hospitals including Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. We are confident that those injured in the fire are being given the very best care.

How Changing Faces can help

People who have been injured in the fire are likely to have scarring from their burns which will be with them for the rest of their lives. This could be scarring to a relatively small area of the body, or very extensive scarring such as to the face, chest or arms.

Coming to terms with an altered appearance is challenging for people, and can be difficult for their family and loved ones too. It’s important to remember that the psychological and social impact can often be ongoing, long after people have left hospital and even after the medical treatments or surgical interventions have ended. Indeed the social impact of a changed appearance often only becomes an issue once individuals start returning home and rejoining their jobs, communities etc

Changing Faces Practitioners can help people become well-informed about the effect of their injury on their appearance and support them with the changes to how they look.

Becoming well-informed can be very important  in making decisions about possible treatments and feeling in control of what is happening.

Medical jargon can be confusing and it can feel like a lot to take in when talking to a health professional. Understanding the ins and outs of a condition’s effect on appearance is part of the picture that is sometimes difficult to address, especially when discussing treatment and deciding what is right. Having knowledge can assist in making treatment decisions and feeling in control of what is happening.

Changing Faces has a team of practitioners who can support people with changes to their appearance in these early days after being injured, or in the months and years to come. Changing Faces Practitioners are not doctors and we don’t advise clients medically about their condition or treatment. However, we can help prepare clients for appointments and ask the right questions to get the answers they need about their altered appearance.

As part of our service, we offer clients

  • brief and confidential advice and information about our services and other sources of support
  • up to 12 sessions of one-to-one support from a Changing Faces Practitioner

Changing Faces Practitioners come from a range of backgrounds such as counselling and social work. We can help you

  • find out more about your condition and treatments
  • develop a more positive attitude about your appearance and your future
  • cope with your feelings about how you look
  • feel more confident about your changed appearance
  • learn about others’ experiences of looking different and exchange information, thoughts and ideas
  • manage other people’s reactions by discussing techniques to handle everyday situations like staring, questions and comments.

Sessions with a Changing Faces Practitioner can be held

  • face-to-face at our centre near Tottenham Court Road in central London
  • over the phone or via Skype

Self-help guides

Changing Faces publishes a range of free self-help guides which can be accessed online or downloaded to read later. You can find them here.

Other resources

James Partridge founded Changing Faces in 1992 after writing a book of the same title, in which he passed on the lessons he learned in coming to terms with his disfigurement after he was burned in a car fire when he was 18. Now in its seventh edition, the book’s emphasis on confidence-building makes it invaluable resource for people coming to terms with a changed appearance.

The book is free to those who have a disfigurement. You can order the book online here, or to order a free copy if you have a disfigurement, please email info@changingfaces.org.uk.

Changing Faces has provided a number of copies to Chelsea & Westminster Hospital for patients involved in the Grenfell Tower fire.

Contact us

  • Click here for information on how to contact our support service
  • Click here for information on how to contact our Advocacy Team, or any other team at Changing Faces