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My Life in Research

June 20, 2022

For almost 20 years, The Scar Free Foundation has been running our brilliant Student Elective scheme in partnership with the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), the British Burn Association (BBA), the British Psychological Society, the Craniofacial Society of Great Britain and Ireland, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and the British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH).

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An Ambassador Audience with Professor Paul Martin

June 09, 2022

Scar Free Researcher Paul Martin, Professor of Cell Biology, and his dedicated and passionate team met with our Ambassadors to discuss the incredible research that is taking place at The University of Bristol to identify the gene(s) that causes scarring and inform future treatments.

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Royal visit to life-changing scar free research programme

March 10, 2022

Our Royal Patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex, visited the world-leading facial reconstruction research programme based at Swansea University, meeting researchers to learn more about the study, and our Ambassadors who could benefit from the pioneering research.

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March 09, 2022

Dr Adam Reid - a scar free researcher and Research Council member - is a plastic surgeon who treated survivors of the Manchester Arena terrorist attack. In an exclusive meeting with our Ambassadors, Dr Reid spoke about plastic surgery, nerve regeneration and how people with scarring are at the heart of his research.

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Afternoon Tea with our Patron HRH The Countess of Wessex & Young Ambassadors

November 18, 2021

“I am so grateful to have you helping to educate and inform people about the problems of scarring. Your knowledge is power and you are helping The Scar Free Foundation to make people more aware by sharing your stories. It’s important that people see the person, not just the scars.”

- HRH The Countess of Wessex, 16 Nov 21

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Celebrating our partnerships

November 05, 2021

Thanks to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust, we’re delivering exciting new research that will help improve the long-term physical health of injured veterans.

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The Scar Free Foundation Ambassadors' Event 2021

November 05, 2021

Behind every scar, there's a story. People living with scarring are at the heart of all that we do. We recently hosted our annual Ambassadors' Event to celebrate our successes, share our news and involve people living with scarring in our plans for 2022 and beyond.

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Scar Free Virtual Reality Experience

November 04, 2021

The Scar Free Foundation is using Virtual Reality (VR) to bring the research we do and the experiences of veteran Ambassadors to life, as we mark the three-year anniversary of The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research in Birmingham and Bristol.

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The Scar Free Foundation Hybrid Update Event 2021

October 13, 2021

Recently we held our first hybrid Annual Update event. The event was attended by over 50 Scar Free supporters, researchers and Ambassadors and took place in our new, recently re-opened base and the ‘home of surgery’, The Royal College of Surgeons of England. The event was also broadcast live and over 200 additional friends and family of the Foundation tuned in virtually.

Our event provided a unique insight into the problems of scarring and the pioneering research we are funding to achieve our mission: to achieve scar free healing within a generation and transform the lives of those affected by disfiguring conditions.

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Could you be our champion?

July 28, 2021

We’re working hard to invest more funds in research that will change lives. For the first time we will be taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge, and although the festivities might seem distant, we need your help now! We’re looking for Champions like you, to help us double the difference. Find out more about what 3D printing, Christmas and you, have in common!

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Land’s End to John O’Groats for The Scar Free Foundation

July 28, 2021

To mark my retirement from the Army, I decided to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats. This 14-day, 992-mile epic takes in some of the most stunning countryside in Britain but also features over 56,000 metres of climbing, 19% of which are defined as severe. What can I say? I like a challenge! To add a little more jeopardy, the ride was in aid of The Scar Free Foundation and the amazing research I hear so much about.

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The Garfield Weston Foundation

April 02, 2021

The Trustees of the Garfield Weston Foundation, one of the UK’s most established charity grant makers, have supported the work of The Scar Free Foundation for more than 10 years. Most recently, the Trust has agreed a generous grant to support life-changing research at The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research towards our innovative DeScar project.

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Our Ambassadors

April 02, 2021

Our Scar Free Ambassadors never cease to inspire us, stories and experiences like theirs are the driving force behind our mission. The Foundation supports their engagement with exclusive events and news on our developments, which is why, on the 24 February 2021, 20 of our Ambassadors joined an Audience with Professor Janet Lord in our first ‘meet the expert’ event.

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International Women's Day

March 08, 2021

Today is International Women’s Day, and to celebrate we’re taking the opportunity to introduce you to some of the amazing women involved in our mission to eliminate scarring within a generation.

From our inspiring Ambassadors who bravely share their stories to clinicians and researchers pushing the boundaries of science find out more about some of the women who make the prospect of scar free healing possible.

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December 18, 2020

Whilst this year has made medical research somewhat challenging, we are so pleased to have been able to continue Scar Free research at pace, despite some pauses over lockdown.

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The Scar Free Foundation launches world’s first research programme to identify scarring gene

November 26, 2020

A world-leading £1.5 million research programme that aims to achieve scar free healing within a generation has been launched today, 26th November, by The Scar Free Foundation, the only medical research charity which focuses solely on scarring. The five-year research study led by the University of Bristol will identify the gene(s) that causes scarring and inform future treatments.

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SafeTea Paper Published in the Injury Prevention Journal

October 28, 2020

Last year, The Scar Free Foundation supported a national campaign that aimed to reduce the number and severity of burn injuries caused to babies and young children by hot drinks. The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Children’s Burns Research at the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff conducted a research project to understand the causes of burns and scalds to children. On the basis of the findings of a high prevalence of hot drink scalds in babies and toddlers together with poor knowledge of the importance of early first aid, the SafeTea campaign was born; sponsored generously by the Worshipful Company of Tin Plate workers alias Wire Workers, and co-funded by Health and Care Research Wales (Welsh Government), The Vocational Training Charitable Trust and the British Burn Association.

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Annual Update

The Scar Free Foundation Virtual Annual Update Event

October 19, 2020

We recently held our virtual Annual Update event, for the first time this year, entirely online. The event offered the Foundation’s supporters, researchers and Ambassadors an insight into the past years’ activity and our plans for future research.

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Annual Update


October 08, 2020

We recently held our virtual Annual Update event, this year online. The event offered the Foundation’s supporters, researchers and Ambassadors an insight into the past years’ activity. We featured presentations from Dr Richard Williams (The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research), Professor Iain Whitaker (Swansea University Medical School) and Mr Justyn Hollett (Ambassador for The Scar Free Foundation, and mental health advocate).

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Irie's poem: National Poetry Day

October 02, 2020

To celebrate National Poetry Day 2020 yesterday, our amazing Ambassador Irie wrote a poem about why she became involved with The Scar Free Foundation. Her beautiful and powerful words highlight the impact that scarring has not only on those that have scarring, but also on their family and friends.

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Sepsis Awareness Month: Jaco's Story

September 30, 2020

Sepsis is a life threatening illness caused by the immune system’s overreaction to an infection. 40% of all sepsis survivors experience permanent, lifechanging after-effects of the illness, including loss of tissue and even limbs. The psychological and physical issues can be devastating. In some cases of sepsis, people can be left with life-long scarring often requiring substantial skin grafts to counteract skin tightness caused by the restrictive scars.

To highlight the severity of the illness, sepsis awareness month takes place every September. As sepsis awareness month draws to an end, our Scar Free Ambassador, Jaco, tells us his story.

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UNITS study publishes their first journal article

August 11, 2020

A major project from The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research, aimed at supporting veterans with appearance-altering injuries, hits a major milestone achievement this month with the publication of an important output from the early stages of the research.

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My Lockdown Journey

July 10, 2020

Lockdown measures gave us considerably more time alone, and removed many of the distractions that we have built our lives around. Our Ambassador, India, told us how isolation affected her mental health, along with how she coped.

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Research Through and Beyond Lockdown

July 10, 2020

Although the COVID-19 crisis has caused much of our lab based research and clinical trials to pause, much of our research has continued from lockdown including the UNITS (Understanding Needs and Interventions for the Treatment of Scarring) study, part of The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research.

We spoke with one of the members of the study team Dr Mary Keeling, Senior Research Fellow, at the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR), University of the West of England to find out more about how the team has continued working through the pandemic, and what the next few months hold.

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Child Safety Week

June 02, 2020

This week is Child Safety Week, run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust, which aims to raise awareness of the causes of children’s accidents, and how they can be avoided. Due to COVID-19, the focus is on how to keep children safe in lockdown, and also as lockdown slowly eases.

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Why self-isolation is normal for me and many others

May 18, 2020

Izzy Brown - Research and Communications Officer

Many people are aware of the physical and psychological impact of visible scarring, but internal scarring in the form of fibrosis presents its own sinister hidden issues. Whilst the pandemic has brought self-isolation and social distancing measures to the fore, many who have long term health conditions, or have experienced a life changing injury have been practicing these measures for years.

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Managing Research Under Lockdown

May 18, 2020

With most university campuses closed and only essential COVID-19 research proceeding in hospitals and labs, much Scar Free Foundation-funded research has had to pause for the past seven weeks. While it is currently unclear when all our work will be up and running again, a number of our researchers are continuing to work from home, including staff from The Scar Free Foundation Cleft Gene Bank and Cohort Study.

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Calling Veterans and Civilians to Participate in Conflict Wound Research

April 09, 2020

Researchers at the University of the West of England undertaking the UNITS (Understanding Needs and Interventions For Treatment of Scarring) project, one of the projects of the Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research, are are currently inviting veterans and members of the general public who have had an injury that has changed their appearance to complete an online questionnaire. Taking part will help us understand the psychological experience of appearance altering injuries and develop evidence based support.

If you are a veteran injured during operational deployment or deployment training since 1969 and that injured changed your appearance (such as having scars and / or limb loss) and would like to take part, please click here to complete an online questionnaire.

If you are a member of the public who has scars and / or limb loss due to an injury or accident and would like to take part, please click here to complete an online questionnaire.

Please also share with anyone you think might be interested. For any questions about the study please email the research team [email protected].

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20 Years of Scar Free

December 15, 2019

This December marks 20 years since the founding of The Scar Free Foundation (formerly the Healing Foundation). To celebrate this milestone, our Patron HRH The Countess of Wessex kindly hosted an afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace.

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Scar Free Update Event

December 12, 2019

This autumn, we hosted our annual update event at the Royal College of Surgeons. The afternoon offered supporters and guests an overview of our Scar Free projects and also provided the perfect opportunity to premier our new Scar Free Ambassador video.

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A Year in Review

December 10, 2019

This year has been an exciting yet busy time for The Scar Free Foundation. With our national programme of research now well underway, we take a look back at what we have achieved in 2019.

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Media Release - Scar Free Foundation Announces Plans For New Burns Scarring Research

November 21, 2019

Scarring affects over 20 million people in the UK*, according to new figures released today by The Scar Free Foundation. Yet the findings reveal that scarring is not talked about enough in our society and there is still a lack of public awareness of the physical – as well as emotional – impact that scarring can have on people.

One of the most common causes of scarring is burn injury, with 64,000** children seeking medical treatment in the UK alone last year, and yet it is an area of medical research that has been critically underfunded.

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‘SafeTea’ campaign launches on National Burns Awareness Day

October 16, 2019

The Scar Free Foundation is supporting a national campaign aimed at reducing the number and severity of injuries caused to babies and young children by hot drinks. The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Children’s Burns Research at the Universities of Bristol and Cardiff undertook research into the causes of burns and scalds to children. The findings form the basis of the campaign which was made possible by a generous grant from the Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers alias Wire Workers of the City of London and co-funding from Health and Care Research Wales.

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Scar Free Drinks Reception in Whitehall

October 08, 2019

Earlier this month, in a venue filled with rich nautical, military and political history, we held a drinks reception to showcase our important work with the Armed Forces and the Veteran community.

We spoke to CASEVAC Club Manager Anna Boggi, who told us more about the evening and why she agreed to share her story.

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Research Update: The Safe Tea Campaign

October 08, 2019

The Safe Tea Campaign is a national campaign to prevent childhood hot drink scalds and promote first aid care to parents.

Funded by The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers, VTCT Foundation and Health and Care Research Wales, and led by the University of Cardiff and the University of Bristol, the Campaign will launch on 16 October this year to coincide with Burns Awareness Day.

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Introducing Hemani: Our Loyal Ambassador

July 04, 2019

Our Scar Free Ambassador Hemani Modasia (pictured, second from right) was first introduced to The Scar Free Foundation just before she started medical school in 2006. Thirteen years later and now a qualified doctor working in a busy GP practice, Hemani is one of our longest-serving Ambassadors and a dedicated Scar Free supporter.

We caught up with Hemani to find out more about her time as an Ambassador, what she thought about last month's Involvement Reception and why our scar free mission is so important; both to her personally and for her profession.

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Annual Involvement Reception

July 04, 2019

On a sunny Saturday in June, The Scar Free Foundation hosted its second annual Involvement Reception at The Royal College of Surgeons of England.

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His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex Visits Centre for Conflict Wound Research

April 04, 2019

His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex visited The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research, at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, last month.

His Royal Highness observed our scar free research, including an anti-scarring gel dressing for use in austere environments and was particularly interested in how we collaborate with key partners to address the challenges in acute care, long-term impact and psychological effects of conflict related injuries.

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Veterans' Psychological Study

April 04, 2019

The UNITS Study (Understanding Needs and Interventions For Treatment of Scarring) is a psychological project which seeks to identify the best way to support serving and ex-serving personnel and their families whose appearance has been affected by a conflict related injury.

The Study, led by the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England, is one of the projects underway at The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research.

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Call For Participants For Conflict Wound Appearance Study

March 05, 2019

Following His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex's recent visit to The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research, we are calling on ex-serving personnel who have sustained an appearance altering injury whilst in military conflict to take part in an important psychological project.

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World's First Specialist Research Centre Aims to Eliminate Scarring within a Generation

November 13, 2018

The first military and civilian wound research centre of its kind in the world was officially opened by Scar Free Foundation Patron Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham today, aiming to minimise the psychological and physical impact of scarring among armed forces personnel and civilians wounded in terrorist attacks.

The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research is a ground-breaking national facility that marks a vital step in achieving the charity’s goal of achieving scar free healing within a generation. The opening was featured across local and national media, highlights of which are available here.

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Lois' First Scar Family Event

November 12, 2018

Lois Collier (pictured with Scar Free Ambassadors Pam Warren and Dan Jackson) formed Scar Family after an attack which left her with scarring on her face. Lois became a Scar Free Ambassador this year and is now very involved with the Foundation.

We caught up with Lois at her first ever Scar Family event in September, from which she donated the proceeds to The Scar Free Foundation.

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Annual Scar Free Showcase

November 12, 2018

We describe the journey to scar free healing as like climbing a mountain, with scar free healing at the summit. Recent scientific breakthroughs, coupled with the important research we have directed to date, has meant that the summit of the mountain is now, for the first time, visible and in reach.

Our annual Showcase, hosted at the British Medical Association, brought together our research teams from Bristol and Birmingham to present on how their work contributes to this important pursuit.

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A Parent's View On the Cleft Collective

June 12, 2018

Cleft lip and palate is the most common facial birth defect in the world, with approximately 1,200 children in the UK born with a cleft each year. Our Scar Free Ambassador, Ana Hobbs, whose daughter Abigail was born with a cleft palate, is a vital member of the Cleft Collective Advisory Panel. 

The Panel oversees The Scar Free Foundation Cleft Gene Bank & Cohort Study at the University of Bristol. With over 2,000 families recruited to it, the study provides unprecedented insight into the genetic and environmental factors behind cleft, will inform new treatments, and help us to better understand the life-long impact of cleft.

Having been on the Advisory Panel for just over a year, we caught up with Ana to find out more about her experience, and why a parent’s point of view for this research is so important.

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Involvement Reception at the Ministry of Defence

June 12, 2018

In April this year we hosted a reception at the Ministry of Defence Main Building in London. The event brought together our Ambassadors and volunteers along with our researchers and clinicians, and provided information on how they could contribute to our scar free mission.

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Renewed support for vital cleft research group

May 11, 2018

The Scar Free Foundation has committed to fund the work of the Cleft & Craniofacial Conditions Clinical Studies Group (CCC CSG), in partnership with the Craniofacial Society of Great Britain and Ireland, for a further three years.  Part of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network for Children, the CCC CSG provides cleft and craniofacial researchers with advice on study development, at any stage but in particular at the initial stages of planning and study design. 

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Donate to Andy's Marathon Challenge

April 12, 2018

We are delighted that Andy Helliwell will be running this year's Milton Keynes Marathon for The Scar Free Foundation. Please consider donating here. We caught up with Andy to find out how training was going and to find out his motivation for supporting our work.

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First Look at Centre for Conflict Wound Research

April 10, 2018

With lead funding from HM Treasury and J P Moulton Charitable Foundation, we will later this year open The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Conflict Wound Research. The Centre, based at the University of Birmingham, will bring together uniformed and civilian scientists and clinicians to investigate how the body heals and protects itself following the types of trauma common to conflicts (chemical, burn, and blast injury) and to spearhead the development of new treatments, from the point of injury through to rehabilitation. Ahead of opening, our Office and Finance Manager Amanda made her first visit to Birmingham to meet the team who will be leading the research, and to see the new labs in which the Centre will be housed.

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Scar Free in Focus

May 25, 2017

Professor Naiem Moiemen (pictured right with Principal Researcher Robert Dinsdale) is Director of The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Burns Research at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. We spoke to Naiem about SIFTI-II (Scientific Investigation of the Biological Pathways Following Thermal Injury), a major cohort study which is investigating what happens in the body following a serious burn injury, and tracks the cellular processes behind scarring.

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Military Reception at Henry VIII Wine Cellar

May 25, 2017

In March we held our first supporter event of the year at the historic Henry VIII Wine Cellar, housed deep within the Ministry of Defence building in Whitehall. The venue is, along with Banqueting House, all that remains of the once magnificent Whitehall Palace. The evening, hosted by Chief of Defence People General Richard Nugee, celebrated the close association between The Scar Free Foundation and the Armed Forces. 

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Professor Peter Weissberg becomes Research Council Chairman

April 25, 2017

Professor Peter Weissberg CBE (pictured left) was today appointed as Chairman of The Scar Free Foundation's Research Council. As the former Medical Director of the British Heart Foundation Professor Weissberg brings unparalleled experience of driving breakthrough medical and scientific research. Professor Weissberg takes over from Professor Sir John Temple (pictured right), who has held the Chairmanship since 2004 and has recently been appointed President of the British Medical Association.

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Scar Free in Focus

February 22, 2017

Dr Amber Young is a Consultant Paediatric Anaesthetist at University Hospital Bristol and is the clinical lead for The Scar Free Foundation Centre for Children's Burns Research. We spoke to Amber about a new dressing that detects infection through a simple colour change. This dressing is currently being trialed in collaboration with Professor Toby Jenkins (pictured with Amber) and the University of Bath.

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Spencer Murphy Photoshoot

February 22, 2017

Spencer Murphy is a London-based photographer whose distinctive portraits feature in the National Portrait Gallery's permanent collection. He is the winner of the prestigious Taylor Wessing Potrait Prize (2013) and the Sony World Photography Awards (2014).

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Thank you to all our supporters

February 22, 2017

Last year we launched the Scar Free Appeal. Our £24 million fundraising campaign will support 10 years of research towards kick-starting our goal of bringing scar free healing treatments to patients by 2045.

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2017 Aesthetic Fellowship Launched

January 16, 2017

Applications are now open for the BAAPS/BAPRAS Aesthetic Fellowship. The fellowships are designed to support post-CCT Trainee Plastic Surgeons wishing to learn skils in Aesthetic Surgery and Medicine.

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Sir Bruce Keogh becomes Scar Free Foundation Chairman

October 18, 2016

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh has become Chairman of The Scar Free Foundation.  Sir Bruce, National Medical Director of NHS England and a Scar Free Foundation Trustee since 2014, took over from Stuart Rose, Lord Rose of Monewden, at a meeting of the Board on Tuesday 18 October 2016.

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Scar Free Healing in the news

July 19, 2016

The publication of The Scar Free Foundation’s Research Strategy was widely followed by a range of national and regional media and broadcast outlets.  Below are some of the highlights from the coverage

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Publication Day

Publication Day

July 19, 2016

The Scar Free Foundation’s major medical research campaign to achieve scar free healing within a generation was launched in London on 19 July 2016.

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Scar Free team showcase burns research work

July 01, 2016

An international audience of burns professionals, researchers and academics joined members of The Scar Free Foundation Children’s Burns Research Centre in Bristol on 1 July to share and develop recent and emerging research work in the area of paediatric burns.

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The Scar Free Appeal Private Launch at St James' Place

November 24, 2015

Over 200 guests attended the launch of the private stage of The Scar Free Appeal at St James’s Palace yesterday evening where the charity’s Patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex, spoke movingly of her experiences meeting survivors of scarring and disfiguring conditions.

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World-leading researchers join Scar Free Ambition

October 17, 2015

Some of the most respected researchers in wound healing, bioengineering and stem cell research have joined The Scar Free Healing Foundation to shape a programme of work that will deliver scar free healing within a generation.

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