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Susan, Head of Education & Learning, outside with a backpack

Susan introduces our new youth work resources

Our Head of Education and Learning, Susan, shares how our new resources can help youth workers and volunteers better support young people with visible differences.


I’m very excited to share with you our new resources for youth workers and volunteers.

The resources, funded by The Robertson Trust and the National Lottery Community Fund in Scotland, will support youth workers and volunteers to better understand and deliver workshops on visible difference to their groups and communities.

Our latest research found that when it comes to taking part in activities outside of school, children with a visible difference are more likely than their peers to fear that they might not fit in (33% versus 21%), that they might not make new friends (27% versus 20%), and that they might get bullied (19% versus 9%). That’s why support needs to be available both in and out of schools.

One in six children living with a visible difference, say they are too self-conscious about the way they look to join new groups.

Susan, Head of Education and Learning

These resources will help youth workers and volunteers to talk about visible difference within their groups and provide a welcoming and inclusive space giving young people with a visible difference the opportunity to take part and live the life they want.

Young people sitting at two desks, a youth worker speaking to them

Youth group learning about visible difference at our pilot in Greenock.

We designed and developed the resources with our community and youth work experts. Our advisory board included the voice of experts on youth work, young people and adults with visible differences and disfigurements, and parents. The board met four times over the last year to help shape the resources. Their expertise and experience were key to the development of the guide, video and animation.

As a youth worker with a visible difference, I was so pleased to be part of the pilot project with Changing Faces. When I was younger, it would have helped me enormously if more adults had felt equipped to talk about looking different.

Beth, Youth Worker

The resources consist of a guide for youth leaders and volunteers to use in the workshops, plus a presentation to use with their groups. The guide gives them a template on how to run the workshop, advice on timing and details about activities and discussion topics.

Young people creating a mind map about stereotypes on a piece of paper

Share our free resources

If you know a youth group or organisation that these resources would be relevant to, please share them. They are free and available to download.

Youth work resources

To further support delivery of the workshops, an animation was created about unconscious bias and a 10-minute CPD (training) film featuring two youth workers and a group of young people in Greenock who took part in the pilot. The film gives advice on running the workshop, potential pitfalls, safeguarding and hints and tips.

Our unconscious bias animation asks youth workers and volunteers to examine their own reactions to visible difference. It helps to reassure people that their initial reaction is outside of their control, but importantly these reactions can be channelled in a positive way, to create inclusive and supportive groups and organisations.

“As a youth worker with a visible difference, I was so pleased to be part of the pilot project with Changing Faces. When I was younger, it would have helped me enormously if more adults had felt equipped to talk about looking different. Together with young people we can create more inclusive environments. You don’t need to have someone with a visible difference or disfigurement in your group, it’s about helping young people to challenge stereotypes and normalising visible differences.” Beth, Youth Worker

A youth worker with a birthmark works with young people seated at a table

Youth worker, Beth, talking with young people at our pilot in Greenock

Our aim is to reach as many youth workers and volunteers as possible. To achieve this, we have been working with national and local organisations and groups including YouthLink Scotland, Youth Scotland and Scouts Scotland, as well as local authorities and other community and youth groups.

If you know a youth group or organisation, please share our resources, they are free and available to download.

Youth work resources

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Youth work resources

Our resources will help you talk to young people about visible difference in youth group settings, enabling you to create an inclusive environment for all.

Children and young people

Growing up is difficult for most people, but it can be even harder if you look different. Our guides are here to help you with the challenges you might face.