A woman with visible difference on a busy street

Media spokespeople

Changing Faces can provide media spokespeople to discuss visible difference and disfigurement, including campaigners, ambassadors and staff-members.

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.

About Changing Faces

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.

How a media interview can enhance your coverage

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.

Arranging an interview

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:

Our ambassadors

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.

Tulsi

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.

Having a disfigurement means never having a day off. I don’t get to take my scars off and forget about them. Every day when I leave my house I need to check in with myself to see how I am going to handle staring or comments people make. We need to get more awareness and have equality.

Tulsi

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

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.

It’s not always easy looking different in a world that is so focused on perfection. Growing up there were no positive role models of people with disfigurements in the media. So now I’m on a mission to be more visible. I speak out and share my experiences, because if it helps one more man, or woman, feel able to share how they’re feeling about their appearance, that’s a job well done.

Adam
Our media spokespeople Adam and Tulsi

Two of our ambassadors, Adam and Tulsi

Our campaigners

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

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.

Growing up, having vitiligo was often very challenging. My teenage years were my worst. Media advertising and magazines had convinced me that there was such a thing as ‘ideal body’ types who were ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’ and I simply didn’t fit into either category. I developed a sense of hatred towards my skin. I became very uncomfortable with how I looked and I lacked confidence. Thankfully, things have significantly changed for me since my teens. I’ve learned to love my skin by changing my mindset, becoming part of a vitiligo community, and joining Changing Faces as a campaigner.

Natalie

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

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.

When you have a facial difference, the fear of how people will react to you can be overwhelming. I wish I’d realised sooner that fitting the standard of beauty doesn’t matter as much as who you are inside. The sooner I accepted myself – all of me – the better life became.

Atholl

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.

Changing Faces staff

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.

Becky Hewitt

Becky Hewitt is Chief Executive at Changing Faces. Becky has spearheaded our work with the visible difference community, building people’s resilience and wellbeing and fighting against the prejudice, inequality, and discrimination faced by those living with a visible difference.

Previously, Becky has campaigned against “Page 3” of The Sun as Communications Director at Girlguiding. She has also supported campaign groups and charities including the Equal Opportunities Commission, disability charity Scope, the family of Victoria Climbie, Guantanamo Bay and death penalty campaigners Reprieve, and Darfur campaigners Waging Peace.

Catherine Deakin

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

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.

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Facts for the media

Key facts to inform your coverage of visible difference to help you ensure your reporting is sensitive, accurate and non-discriminatory.

Media guidelines

Guidance for journalists and reporters on how to talk about visible difference and disfigurement in the media, including contact details for our media team.