A project working to change people’s attitudes to facial and body disfigurement has received an award from our Investing in Communities fund.
Thanks to their grant of £350,140 Edinburgh based Changing Faces will run a new awareness campaign throughout schools in Scotland to change attitudes towards children and young people with disfigurements. A Faces Equality Advisor will work in schools to identify and address any issues young people are facing.
Monica Duddy, 23, is a member of the charity’s youth group Faces of Scottish Youth and has a large birthmark on her cheek. She said: “When I was younger, a Face Equality Adviser would have been able to guide my teachers on how to make my school inclusive for children like me who were living with a facial disfigurement. I am delighted that that this new role will offer teachers the necessary skills and techniques to develop an educational environment for children with a visible difference to thrive.”
As well as its awareness campaign, Changing Faces will be able to expand their work to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow.
James Partridge, Chief Executive and Founder of Changing Faces, said: “This award will enable Changing Faces to take forward its pioneering plans to promote the self confidence and self esteem of children and young people throughout Scotland who have unusual looking faces, hands or bodies.
“As we set up our new centre in Scotland, from which the project will evolve, we will be working closely with health service staff to ensure that anyone whose appearance is “different” for any reason gets the support and empowerment they need.”
Big Lottery Fund, Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, added: ” This unique project will give a range of practical and emotional support to up to 1500 young people throughout Scotland, ensuring they feel less isolated and are seen and recognised, for their personalities and talents irrespective of their appearance. This is a great example of a project making a positive and lasting difference to people’s lives and one which we are proud to support.”
Changing Faces was one of 11 projects which recently received funding through Investing in Communities.