A woman with short brown hair, wearing a black jacket and green jumper, stands in front of a wall and flower bed

Gill thanks our volunteer campaigners

Our Head of Campaigns and Communications, Gill, reflects on the successes of the first campaigners group as their time on the programme comes to an end.


Back in December 2018 after submitting their applications, a group of people from across the country, of different ages and life experiences came together to sign up as the first group of volunteer Changing Faces campaigners.

They joined a two-year programme that aimed to support them to share their experiences of living life with a visible difference. And to help them use those stories to call for change, raise awareness with those in positions of power and influence, and to connect with other people with a similar passion.

Thank you to cohort one campaigners

Thank you to our first group of campaigners

Part way through their time as campaigners, I was lucky enough to join Changing Faces and start to get to know this brilliant group of volunteers. They helped me settle in, were kind and patient, and always willing to get involved. Just as it felt like we were on a roll, the global pandemic, COVID-19 and lockdown came our way.

Suddenly the events we’d been attending, opportunities to speak out and our face-to-face training days were paused. True to form the campaigners embraced Zoom, navigating the mute button, creating virtual backdrops and negotiating breakout rooms so we could keep in touch.

Selfies and on-phone at home filming became a thing and when interviews for the media or events resumed, they’ve been dialling in remotely so Changing Faces and the experiences of people with visible differences could still be heard.

Together they’ve achieved a huge amount – you might have seen them on your TV screens, read about them in newspapers or heard them on the radio. If you follow us on social media, you may have got to know a bit more about them through their stories and blog posts.

Ella, Rory, Natalie, Georgie, Hannah, Mikaela, Paulette and Michael have all played a vital part in helping Changing Faces grow, reach more people with visible differences and raise awareness on issues like appearance-related hate incidents and crimes and the need for more positive representation of visible difference across popular culture.

Ella, Rory, Natalie, Georgie, Hannah, Mikaela, Paulette and Michael have all played a vital part in helping Changing Faces grow, reach more people with visible differences and raise awareness on issues like appearance-related hate incidents and crimes and the need for more positive representation of visible difference across popular culture.

Some of the things you might not have seen though are the contributions that the group made behind the camera. They’ve reviewed research questions and given feedback on results, helping shape the messaging around the statistics; given their opinions and shared personal experiences as part of government led consultations and enquiries; spoken to Select Committees and All Party Parliamentary Groups; presented to corporates, school children and groups of healthcare professionals; audited films to count the number of villains with a visible difference; helped craft letters and written quotes.

They’ve been welcoming to our new volunteer campaigners, and they’ve also been friendly critics, encouraged different and better ways of working and asked tricky questions. All of these things make Changing Faces stronger and better for having their input.

They’d be the first people to say that there are many other volunteers, including group two campaigners and our ambassadors, who deserve a shout out too. Today though I want to focus on this group of wonderful people and say a huge and great big thank you to them all!

Our first group of campaigners have:

  • Helped deliver three Face Equality Weeks
  • Been involved in 12 campaign films that combined have had more than 9.5 million views
  • Written more than 20 stories and blog posts

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