CHANG­ING FACES

The Daily Telegraph - - Christmas Charity Special -

 Be­fore leav­ing the house, most of us glance at our re­flec­tion. It is of­ten a cur­sory check to en­sure there is noth­ing that would in­vite a sec­ond glance on the street. But what if there is?

When­ever Tulsi Vagjiani, 39, leaves her Lon­don home, she says she must take a mo­ment “to check in with my­self to see how I am go­ing to han­dle star­ing or com­ments”.

When she was 10, a plane crash killed her im­me­di­ate fam­ily and left her with sec­on­dand third-de­gree burns to 45 per cent of her face and body. Peo­ple have stared and com­mented ever since.

For more than 25 years, Chang­ing Faces – the UK’S lead­ing char­ity for ev­ery­one with a mark, scar or con­di­tion that makes them look dif­fer­ent – has worked to al­ter th­ese per­cep­tions.

The char­ity pro­vides lifechang­ing ad­vice and sup­port for peo­ple with a vis­i­ble dif­fer­ence, through coun­selling, net­works and skin cam­ou­flage ser­vices – and car­ries out cru­cial ad­vo­cacy work call­ing for so­ci­etal change.

Over the past year, Chang­ing Faces has sup­ported some 21,000 peo­ple with a vis­i­ble dif­fer­ence. Among them is Rory Mcguire, 24, who suf­fered de­pres­sion in his late teens be­cause of a birth­mark on his face. Thanks to the work of Chang­ing Faces, he is now look­ing for­ward a ca­reer in act­ing.

With your do­na­tions, Chang­ing Faces will be able to in­crease its ad­vice and sup­port ser­vices and net­works. It will also ex­pand its net­work of young me­dia and ad­vo­cacy cham­pi­ons, em­pow­er­ing them to tell their sto­ries.

We may not be able to stop ev­ery stare or com­ment, but we can en­sure ev­ery­one plays their part in chang­ing the world for the bet­ter.

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