Changing Faces (charity)

Changing Faces is a British charity supporting and representing children, young people, and adults who have a visible difference to the face, hands, or body, whether present from birth or caused by accident, injury, or illness or medical episode. It campaigns to change public opinion and combat discrimination, and to help and support those with a visual difference.

Changing Faces
FounderDr James Partridge OBE
Founded atLondon
Registration no.1011222
HeadquartersThe Squire Centre, 33-37 University Street, London WC1E 6JN
ProductsAdvice and support, training materials, awareness campaigns
ServicesSupports and represents people of all ages with disfigurements from any cause
Key people
Becky Hewitt (Chief Executive), David Clayton (Chair of the Trustees)
Staff (2018)
Volunteers (2016)


The charity was founded in 1992 by James Partridge OBE, who sustained severe burns in a car fire when he was 18 years old.[1] He wrote about the experience in a book, Changing Faces, in the late 1980s, and was persuaded to set up the charity after speaking about it with doctors from University College Hospital in London.


The charity provides psychological support for people with disfigurements, by providing advice, information, counselling, and workshops across the UK. It also provides advice to health professionals, teachers, and employers, by running training courses and study days that enable professionals to develop effective clinical services, inclusive school curricula, and equal-opportunities policies.

While modern reconstructive surgery and other medical treatments can make disfigurement less noticeable, some scarring, asymmetry, or change in complexion usually remains. Changing Faces complements medical and surgical interventions by addressing the psychological and social challenges posed by disfigurement. Its services are based on academic research and informed by service users, including a Young People's Council.

In 2012, the British Red Cross transferred its Skin Camouflage Service to Changing Faces. The service "helps individuals to regain self-confidence and independence", and now operates at more than 120 locations throughout the UK.


The charity's Face Equality campaign aims to ensure that people with disfigurement are treated without prejudice or discrimination. The campaign targets employers, schools, health care professionals, the media, policy makers, and the general public, and has used posters featuring adults and children with facial disfigurement.[2][3][4] In November 2009, Partridge presented the lunchtime news bulletins on UK television channel Five.

The What Success Looks Like campaign seeks to transform the treatment of disfigurement in the workplace. Through employers and industry bodies, it aims to inform business leaders and human-resource managers about disfigurement. It also serves to help people living with a visual difference to overcome barriers.[5]

In 2017, the charity released a set of educational resources to help school teachers raise the topic of facial disfigurement among pupils. These resources were launched to coincide with the UK release of the movie Wonder, which tells the story of a boy born with a craniofacial condition.[6] In the same year, the charity collaborated on a series of portraits taken by photographer Rankin, to challenge conventions of beauty in the fashion industry.[7][8]

In 2017, the charity released Disfigurement in the UK, a report into the experience of people who live with a condition, mark, or scar affecting their appearance, with consideration of the issue against school, work, relationships, health care, and crime.[9] The report was released on the charity's Face Equality Day.


The chief executive is Becky Hewitt[10] and Chair is David Clayton.[11][12]

Patrons have included actor Michelle Dockery, Rory Bremner, William Simons, Lord Fellowes of West Stafford, Simon Weston OBE, poet Benjamin Zephaniah, and comedian and actor Jan Ravens.


  1. ^ Benjamin, Alison (2007-05-01). "Interview: James Partridge, founder of Changing Faces". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
  2. ^ "Meet the stars of a new CBBC documentary". The Guardian. 5 March 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  3. ^ Hayward, Lucas (2010-03-05). "'All people with facial disfigurements should be as proud as I am'". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
  4. ^ "Shops need to help those with disfigurements". Third Force News. 2017-10-03. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
  5. ^ "What Success Looks Like: Changing Faces launch new campaign". Primary Care Nursing Review. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
  6. ^ "School resources released alongside Wonder movie". Schools Week. 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
  7. ^ "Portrait Positive aims to change perception of beauty in collaboration with photographer Rankin". ITV News. 2017-09-27. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
  8. ^ "Rankin's new photography book challenges perceptions of beauty". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  9. ^ "Shops need to help those with disfigurements". Third Force News. Retrieved 2018-02-15.
  10. ^ Becky Hewitt
  11. ^ "Charity Details". BETA. 2016-03-31. Retrieved 2018-01-22.
  12. ^ Ricketts, Andy (2017-05-22). "Ruth Ruderham to join Comic Relief, plus other movers". Third Sector. Retrieved 2018-01-22.

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