Today I signed the Face Equality pledge to show my support for ending discrimination against people with a disfigurement.
One in every 111 people has a significant facial disfigurement and research by the charity Changing Faces has shown that 9 out of 10 people unconsciously hold negative attitudes towards people with facial disfigurement, meaning there are many people in Cambridge facing major challenges to leading a normal life.
Many endure staring, name-calling, bullying, prejudice, harassment and ostracism on a daily basis, making them feel unwanted and undervalued, even depressed.
The Equality Act 2010 makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of severe disfigurement, yet too often people with disfigurements talk of how they feel they are not given opportunities to fulfil their potential, being passed over for promotion and feeling left out by others – if they are employed at all.
This must be deeply frustrating, not least as a waste of their own individual talent and ingenuity but as a loss to the whole of society. No one should experience discrimination.