The Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) will increase its network of volunteers across Scotland, thanks to a £199,838 award from our Investing in Communities fund. Scotland has one of the highest incidences of cleft lip and palate (also referred to as cleft) with an estimated 7,500 people like 26 year old Rachelle Cardno currently living with the condition.
Rachelle from Lonmay, Aberdeenshire, says: “CLAPA has been helping me and my family since I was born and through all the surgeries that I have had. Even from an early age I remember the magazines they used to send out and reading the articles which really helped my confidence and made me realise there were other people going through the same thing as I was. Even in my adult years they have continued to be an invaluable support and it was CLAPA who put me in touch with the cleft team and this led to me getting my final operation in 2012.”
Thanks to today’s award, CLAPA will be able to provide more support and advice to up to 700 families around the country.
Welcoming the award, CLAPA’s Scotland Engagement Officer, Gillian McCarthy said: : “My work with people in Scotland has revealed an urgent need for support, particularly from those who have had first hand knowledge of the many challenges which cleft can present. Until recently CLAPA has only been able to provide a limited number of support services in Scotland but the award from the Big Lottery Fund will enable us to employ two new members of staff and expand our work for people of all ages. By the end of this project, we hope to have a thriving and welcoming cleft community in Scotland.’
Big Lottery Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, added: “I am delighted that our funding will enable CLAPA to expand and grow its work in Scotland. Having a child with a cleft can put an immense strain on families when procedures take place over several years. With the assistance of additional volunteers, the project will now be able help these children and their parents face the future with greater confidence.”