About us

Every Smile Tells a Story

The Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) is a small charity supporting people born with a cleft and their families in the UK

We bring together people affected by cleft to help them connect with others who share their experiences, welcoming them into a supportive community for life.

We have a small office in Bethnal Green, London, but our staff are based around the UK.

Our services include:

  • Vibrant social Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles which promote positivity, bust myths and celebrate differences with regular content created by and for the cleft community.
  • Online support groups moderated by trained volunteers provide an instant connection for those looking for an informal support network.
  • Regular events give people the chance to talk about their experiences and worries and hear from others at all stages of the cleft journey.
  • Confidential one-to-one support provided by trained volunteer patients and parents who reassure those most in need that they can cope with whatever lies ahead.
  • Accredited information on cleft led by our community, reflecting their experiences and emotional needs as well as medical facts.
  • An Advocacy Service that provides tailored information and signposting to those with complex enquiries.
  • A Children and Young People’s Council made up of 9-17-year-olds who meet to share their thoughts and experiences, helping to improve our support services as well as cleft research and NHS care.
  • A consultancy service for researchers which connects their work with our community.
  • A feeding service that supplies 15,000 subsidised items of specialist equipment for babies born with a cleft each year, including free of charge items for new and vulnerable families.

Read more about our history, what we do, and our commitment to safeguarding.


CLAPA holds the SAFE Award for excellence in safeguarding practices

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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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