The Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) is a small, London-based charity working to improve the lives of people born with a cleft and their families in the United Kingdom.
In the UK alone, 100 babies are born each month with a cleft lip and/or palate, a lifelong condition with a wide range of causes, issues and outcomes. The rollercoaster of coming to terms with a new diagnosis is quickly followed by issues with feeding, multiple complex surgeries before a baby’s first birthday, as well as ongoing problems with hearing, teeth, and speech. As children get older, looking and sounding different can impact their self-esteem, and adults born with a cleft can often struggle to get the treatment and support they need.
CLAPA is a 20,000-strong community of parents, patients, cleft healthcare professionals and more, all dedicated to raising awareness and working together to overcome any barriers caused by cleft lip and palate. We reach out at the moment of diagnosis to provide knowledge, practical support, a community and a voice to people affected by cleft. Our vision is of a society where everyone affected by cleft feels supported, connected and empowered to take control wherever they are on their cleft journey.
As a small charity with a big mission, we do what we can to make every penny count. Though our costs are rising year after year, we work hard to keep our services accessible to all, and to make sure we never have to cut back on frontline support for families and adults affected by cleft.
Our small, busy office in London is also the base of operations for our feeding service, which sends out around 15,000 items of special bottles and teats to parents in the UK and beyond each year. All these boxes might come in handy if we ever want to build a fort, but they’re not so great when it comes to finding space for us to meet. We’ve avoided booking meetings rooms elsewhere in the past, as we prefer to spent as much of our funding as possible on direct services. But thanks to Frazer Jones offering us high-tech, modern meeting rooms in their nearby offices for free, we’re able to regularly treat our hardworking staff to a break from the bustle of the office so they can focus on management meetings, training and strategy days, and more. Companies offering their services pro bono in this way makes such a big difference to what charities like CLAPA are able to accomplish. On behalf of all our staff who have enjoyed using a Frazer Jones meeting room free of charge in the past few months, we’d like to say a huge thank you for your support of our vital work!