Every year, over 540,000 people in the UK are estimated to acquire a disfiguring condition to their face, hands or body – from birth.

The Children's Face Equality Campaign

“I never dreamed I would see myself up in lights in the middle of London. We all felt like film stars!”

The Children’s Face Equality campaign was developed to challenge the assumptions that people sometimes make about the lives of children with disfigurements.

We wanted to create greater understanding of the issues, so that children with disfigurements are treated fairly and equally at school, in their hobbies, when looking for a Saturday job, or simply being invited to another child’s party.

The campaign is fronted by Max, Lucas, Harry and Lauren, who were all aged between 9 and 13 years old.  They appear in a series of adverts, which challenge four very common assumptions about children with disfigurements:

  • They are less able to achieve
  • They are less socially skilled and confident
  • They are shy and retiring
  • They lead tragic, pitiful lives.

Why is the Children’s Face Equality campaign important?

Without being conscious of their behaviour, most adults, young people and children, can treat other children who have a disfigurement differently. These attitudes spring from assumptions and myths about disfigurement.

Changing Faces meets many children with disfigurements for whom these assumptions are in danger of becoming a reality.  It can take many years of support to help these children and their families believe that they can achieve anything they want, be confident and that their lives can be as full and happy as they want them to be. 

Changing the language we use, curbing our tendency to stare and point, accepting that children can look different and still be as capable as any other child, and more importantly taking care not to hurt their feelings with nasty comments are some of the things that the Face Equality campaign hopes to achieve.

The 500 adverts first appeared at London Underground stations in January 2010 and again between August to October 2010 at UK national railways all courtesy of J C Decaux.