Kathy Lacy – a woman of huge empathy who inspired thousands

It was with great sadness that I heard of Kathy Lacy’s death last Thursday after she’d been through a series of very difficult health problems. I’d seen her a fortnight ago and she was clearly in agony so it was a mercy. I first met Kathy (pictured above) at Victoria Station in July 1992 threeContinue reading “Kathy Lacy – a woman of huge empathy who inspired thousands”

Celebrating excellence in diversity practice

I was delighted to have been asked to speak and give the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Excellence in Diversity Awards in Leeds last week – what a great celebration it was! Congratulations to everyone who was nominated – and the winners should be very proud… and especially to Karin Woodley, Chief Executive of Cambridge HouseContinue reading “Celebrating excellence in diversity practice”

Doing good

A great evening at the Oxford Union last week! So fascinating to be part of an ancient debating tradition that goes back to Gladstone who was President of the Union in 1830. I stood at the despatch box – opposing the motion – on the same boards as many giants of the political world andContinue reading “Doing good”

Why powwownow’s Zombie advert offends

Ten days ago I saw an advert on London’s transport network. Called ‘Avoid the Horror’, it featured a group of Zombies standing around a commuter on a packed tube train. Their faces display a variety of scars, bleeding mouths and exposed teeth, distorted by plastic masks. It was a disquieting moment because I came face-to-face withContinue reading “Why powwownow’s Zombie advert offends”

His is the face of a warrior for the human spirit

To be chosen as the subject of the first People’s Portrait was, as Simon Weston put it, a very humbling experience. But as he showed consistently throughout the beautifully crafted BBC film about the making of the portrait, he is a delightfully humble man. But not in the way you might imagine I mean. NotContinue reading “His is the face of a warrior for the human spirit”

Three role models of how to live a full life with facial burns

Role models are inspirational and we need more of them, people who have been through some trauma or major life event, and come out not just surviving but in some way uplifted by the experience. In the last week or two, as a man with facial burns, I have been inspired by three men whoContinue reading “Three role models of how to live a full life with facial burns”

“The variety of faces has increased considerably” in Lego!

Did you know that there are now 6,000 mini-figures in the Lego world?! And apparently, according to an academic in New Zealand, Dr Christoph Bartneck, who has looked at every one of them, the number (or did he mean the percentage) of ‘happy faces’ is diminishing… You could argue that this possibly reflects the realContinue reading ““The variety of faces has increased considerably” in Lego!”

The journey from King’s Cross Station to the National Portrait Gallery

It’s only a short bike ride across London – I do it regularly – going down Gower Street past University College Hospital with the Rayne Institute and Changing Faces on the right in University Street, then on past Bedford Square and down through Seven Dials and St Martin’s Lane. But it’s also a highly symbolicContinue reading “The journey from King’s Cross Station to the National Portrait Gallery”

Why the BBC Trust’s ruling on Top Gear matters

It has taken seven long months, much persistence and pages of tough legalistic arguing by Changing Faces to achieve the BBC Trust’s milestone judgment. Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond’s scripted remarks about a car they called ‘the Elephant Car’ did indeed infringe the BBC’s code on harm and portrayal as laid down in their EditorialContinue reading “Why the BBC Trust’s ruling on Top Gear matters”

Twenty years ago today

Tuesday 26th May 1992 was the day after the May Bank Holiday Monday, a quiet day in the newsrooms of London – and about 10 journalists and the BBC TV News team turned up for a press conference in the Kings Fund Centre in Camden Town to launch a new charity, Changing Faces. The TVContinue reading “Twenty years ago today”