Facing her fears for charity

Carly Swann is celebrating her wedding in style this weekend. Catherine Scott reports

Carly Swan and her daughter Ashton from Sheffield

Carly Swann from Sheffield has spent nearly 20 years struggling to come to terms with how she looks after one side of her face became paralysed at the age of 14.

But now thanks to Sheffield charity Changing Faces, Carly is facing the world again and even plucked up courage to tell fiance Scott that she liked him. The couple are getting married at Sheffield Town Hall on Friday. And rather than a traditional honeymoon the newlyweds will travel to Cambridge tot ake part in a skydive as part of Face your Fears week for Changing Faces.

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“My personal journey began when I was 14 years old - a tough time for any teenager let alone having one side of your face stop working,” explains Carly who has a daughter Ashton.

“For years and years this has affected my self-confidence, my self-esteem and a whole heap of other very personal experiences. I’ve lived with facial difference for almost 20 years now and it has only been for the past 11 months that I have finally started to accept the way I look and this is all down to the fantastic work of Changing Faces.

“I accessed their skin camouflage service many years ago and use their make up every single day to hide the scarring I have on my face.

“I accessed their counselling service in November 2013 and it has been through these sessions that I have finally become accepting of myself and the way I look.”

As a result of her involvement with Changing Faces Carly is now a member of the User Council for both the regional office (Yorkshire and Humber) and the national charity based in London. I

“Any part of your body can be hidden with the exception of one crucial part - your face. Having to live with this difference, be questioned by children, get comments from so-called friends and strangers can be truly heartbreaking and hurtful.

“Changing Faces have such empathy, knowledge and expertise in this area it is shocking and so frustrating how small a charity they are. It is for this reason that I am doing a skydive and in the process have managed to rope in my sister, my soon to be husband, my long time friend Joe and even he has managed to rope one of his friends in too.

“They are such an important charity that transforms lives but they are a very small charity and need as much help as possible so that they can continue their work.

To sponsor Carly and Scott visit www.justgiving.com/Carly-Scott-7802/