Prominent charity leader James Partridge dies suddenly aged 67

He founded and led the charities Changing Faces and Face Equality International

James Partridge (Photograph: Chris George)
James Partridge (Photograph: Chris George)

Tributes have been paid to the charity leader and face equality campaigner James Partridge, who has died suddenly at the age of 67.

Partridge, who founded and led the charities Changing Faces and Face Equality International, died peacefully over the weekend in a Guernsey hospital due to a sudden infection. He had been receiving cancer treatment. 

Partridge, who sustained severe burn injuries in a car accident at the age of 18, was a well-known charity leader and a leading campaigner for face equality, having led Changing Faces for 25 years after he set it up in 1992. 

He stepped down from Changing Faces in 2017 to found Face Equality International, an alliance of NGOs working with people with disfigurements, for which he was director until he died. 

He had been working and campaigning right up until his death on Sunday, FEI said. 

He was appointed OBE in 2002 and in 2010 was named Most Admired Chief Executive at Britain’s Most Admired Charities, run by Third Sector and voted for by people in the sector. 

In 2009, he spent a week reading the lunchtime news on Channel Five in a bid to raise awareness of facial disfigurements

David Clayton, chair of Changing Faces, said there had been an “overwhelming response” to the news from the charity’s network. 

“James was an unequalled, passionate and tireless champion and pioneer for people with disfigurements and the global campaign for face equality,” he said. 

“He has inspired and changed the lives of so many people, most recently through his leadership of Face Equality International. 

“James’ dedication to fighting discrimination and prejudice, and offering first-class psychosocial support for people with disfigurements across the world, is a powerful legacy. His drive, energy and commitment will continue to inspire our work." 

A statement from FEI said: “A mentor, a friend, and an inspiration to so many people, he brought immense positivity and laughter with him wherever he went. He will be tremendously missed and forever present in the lives of so many.”

Phyllida Swift, communications coordinator at the charity, added: "We have no doubt that James’ pioneering work will live on, and that we owe it to him to push forward with bringing face equality to the world. 

“His life’s commitment to improving the lives of others will remain his legacy, and the countless friends and allies he has formed along the way will make it their mission to honour him, and to carry on what he started."

Partridge is survived by his wife, three children and six grandchildren. 


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