Key facts to inform your coverage of visible difference to help you ensure your reporting is sensitive, accurate and non-discriminatory.
Media interviews are available with Changing Faces campaigners and ambassadors, who can share their personal experiences of life with a visible difference or disfigurement. We can also arrange interviews with Changing Faces staff from across the charity.
Changing Faces is the UK’s leading charity for everyone who has a mark, scar or condition that makes them look different. Being different in a society where there is such pressure to look a certain way is tough.
For over 25 years we have been providing advice and support, challenging discrimination, and campaigning for a world that respects difference. 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.
We know that real-life stories can bring news to life. Much of our campaigning work is led by our campaigners and ambassadors who have a visible difference and who can share their experiences to put a story into context.
You can also speak to our expert team who can provide a UK-wide picture of the experiences of people who have a visible difference as well as background on our latest research and campaigns.
Media interviews are available with Changing Faces campaigners and ambassadors, as well as with members of staff.
If you would like to speak to someone about our work or about an interview, please contact our media team:
- Email: [email protected]
- Call: 0207 391 9271 (out of hours call 07823 348125)
Our ambassadors are experienced and passionate speakers who have been involved with Changing Faces for several years and have powerful stories to tell about their own experiences of living with a visible difference.
We’ve provided information below about two of our ambassadors – you can also see the full list of ambassadors on our dedicated page.
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.
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.
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.
Our campaigners, like Natalie and Atholl, come from across the UK. They are a diverse group with a range of experiences to share about living life with a visible difference. You can find out more about our volunteer campaigners on our dedicated page.
Natalie was 3 years old when she developed vitiligo. As a young child, Natalie was unaware of her visible difference but this changed at secondary school.
Now Natalie is sharing her experiences, challenging organisations and brands to represent more people with visible differences and provide positive role models for young people to see.
Atholl was born with cystic hygroma affecting his head, ear, jaw and neck on his left side, and has facial palsy caused by surgery.
Atholl knew he looked different but it wasn’t until he was 8 that other people’s reactions started to have an impact on him. As a teenager and in his early twenties Atholl experienced comments, stares and abuse from strangers in the street, as well as online.
As a campaigner Atholl has been raising awareness of online hate crime and how to report it, as well as encouraging more men to access appearance-related mental health and wellbeing support.
Below are some of our key media spokespeople. Contact the media team using the details at the top of the page if you would like us to comment on something or would like to arrange an interview.
Heather Blake is Chief Executive at Changing Faces. Heather is passionate that Changing Faces listens carefully to those who we support, and that the voices and experiences of our community are at the heart of everything the charity does.
Before Changing Faces, Heather was Director of Support and Influencing at Prostate Cancer UK. In this role, she was responsible for leading their service delivery and work to ensure that men with prostate cancer have access to the best treatments and care.
Heather has held senior operational and strategic management roles in the NHS, including responsibility for community health services in Lambeth and Southwark as part of Guys & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust. She is also a Trustee and Chair of the Patient Services Committee at Royal Trinity Hospice, Clapham.
Catherine Deakin is Director of Fundraising and Communications at Changing Faces. Catherine, working with the visible difference community, has led campaigns to tackle appearance-related abuse and hate crime online and in person. She has also worked to increase the positive representation of people with visible differences in brand advertising and popular culture, including high-profile corporate partnerships.
She has over 14 years’ experience in the not-for-profit sector, including leadership roles at Tommy’s, Girlguiding and Hospice UK. In 2014, Catherine was honoured with a fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts for her services to young people and end-of-life care.
Angela Harris is Head of Scotland at Changing Faces. She is passionate about providing user-led support and information services, working collaboratively across sectors, and building strong effective partnerships.
Angela has a wealth of senior leadership experience, having been the Head of Scotland at Breast Cancer Care. During her 10 years at the charity, she created successful partnerships with NHS health boards across Scotland and worked closely with the Scottish Government and leading funders.
Angela oversaw the transformation of face-to-face services across Scotland at Breast Cancer Care. She was also a founding member of the WoSCAN Psychological Therapies and Support Framework to improve psychological services for those affected by cancer. Angela championed the patient voice in her work with Healthcare Improvement Scotland, providing submissions to Scottish Medicines Consortium.