About us

Every Smile Tells a Story

A group of young people from CLAPA on an adventure holiday

The Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) is a small charity working to improve the lives of people born with a cleft and their families in the UK.

Three babies are born with a cleft every day in the UK. CLAPA is a community of families, patients and health professionals, all dedicated to raising awareness and working together to overcome any barriers caused by cleft lip and palate.

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.

Read more about our history, our impact, and our commitment to safeguarding.

Beardog Outdoor Event, Oxfordshire, June 2019

CLAPA’s key services include:

  • Online and local support groups to help people affected by cleft to feel positive, connected, and in control.
  • Local and national events to bring people together so no one has to go through their journey alone.
  • Providing specialist feeding equipment for babies born with a cleft in the UK, including supplying over 700 new families with free ‘Welcome Packs’ each year.
  • Training parent and patient volunteers to provide one-on-one support to those in need of reassurance, information and a listening ear.
  • An accredited information service that is comprehensive, accessible and community-led.
  • Training volunteers who help to educate schools, local communities and healthcare professionals about cleft lip and palate here in the UK.
  • Collaboration with researchers to make their work accessible to our community. We are well-respected as the voice of people affected by cleft in the UK, and our staff and volunteers sit on a number of boards and committees looking to improve and inform cleft care.

CLAPA believes that every smile tells a story. From expectant parents dealing with a diagnosis to adults struggling to get the care they need, we believe that these stories and the people in them should shape everything we do.

Cleft lip and palate has a wide range of causes, effects and outcomes. No two families will be impacted in the same way. The journey through treatment and beyond isn’t easy, but we believe that with the right help and support, everyone affected by cleft can be happy with how their story unfolds.

As the only national support charity for cleft in the UK, we believe it’s our responsibility to put the needs of patients and parents first, and to fight for the best possible cleft care and outcomes for every generation.

Founded in June 1979, CLAPA are celebrating our 40th birthday this summer. After a difficult financial year, CLAPA’s current focus is working towards a future where our support services are sustainable, accessible and locally-led across the UK.

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We rely on the kindness and generosity of the community to help us make sure everyone born with a cleft can smile inside and out. Can you help us be there for every child, adult and family in need?

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