Who are iFace?
iFace is a website set up by a charity called Changing Faces for young people aged 11-21 to discuss disfigurement, give and get advice and share personal stories.
You may have been born with a condition like a cleft lip and/or palate, a birthmark or a craniofacial condition like Crouzons or Aperts.
You may have developed a skin condition as you've grown up like vitiligo, acne or eczema.
Perhaps you have scarring or differently shaped features following treatment for cancer or another illness. You could also have been injured in a car accident or have burns or scars from a fire or an animal bite.
Your difference may not be on your face but on another part of your body such as your hands or your back.
You may not actually have a disfigurement yourself but be best friends with or the sister or brother of someone who does.
Don't like the word 'disfigurement'?
Perhaps you think it is a negative word or it doesn't apply to you. It is used on the website because it is easily understood by everyone. It is also a legal term and is used in Acts of Parliament to protect the rights of people who have disfigurements. You might have other words you'd rather use such as 'visible difference', 'my scar/birthmark/burn/little ear' or even 'my condition'. Just use the words that you are comfortable with.
Finding it hard?
It can sometimes feel really difficult to have a disfigurement or a visible difference. You might be fed up with people staring, asking questions or even giving you hassle at school. You might feel that other people only judge you on your appearance rather than seeing you as a whole person.
And it doesn't help when it seems that every magazine or TV show is full of 'beautiful' people with perfect lives to match. With all this pressure on us to look great 100% of the time you might be wondering how you can be admired and respected for who you are.
Talk to Changing Faces
Changing Faces works with young people who have disfigurements from all over the UK. We offer a safe place to talk about what's going on for you and to find out how to deal with things like staring, having an op or starting a new school or college.
If you are under 18 yrs old you will normally speak to Shirley, Michelle, Wendy or another member of staff in our Children and Young People's Service who specializes in working with young people.
You can call Changing Faces on 0845 4500 275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are 18yrs old or over you can contact an Adult worker on the same number and email above.
What will happen when you call
Your call will be answered by our receptionist who will ask how she can help you. All you need to say is that you would like to speak to someone in the Children and Young People's Service about a personal matter (or the Adult Service if you are 18 or over).
Sometimes we get very busy so if we can not take your call straight away we will call you back. You will normally be asked for your name and a number so someone can do this. If it's not good to call at certain times, let our receptionist know when is a good time for you and we will try to call you at that time.
If you get through to Changing Faces' answering machine, just leave a message to say that you would like to speak to someone in the Children and Young People's Service and give your name and number.
We would not normally contact your parents or guardian if you contact Changing Faces. We may suggest that you tell them you have been in touch but we will talk this through with you first.
If Changing Faces believes that a young person is at risk or is likely to harm themselves or someone else, we have a duty to inform other people who can help.