Meet the Team

For general inquiries please email [email protected] or call the office on 020 7833 4883.

Find Vacancies on Charity Jobs or listed on our website.

Claire C

Claire Cunniffe

Chief Executive Officer

Claire joined CLAPA in February 2011, initially to pilot the Regional Coordinator project which she led since its inception. Having been Deputy Chief Executive for 2 1/2 years, she was appointed CEO in September 2018 to work with the Board of Trustees to set and lead on the delivery of the organisational strategy.

Claire has a background in developing services within voluntary organisations and plays an important role in strengthening CLAPA’s links with health professionals developing partnerships with other charities.

Email: [email protected]

Communications & Information

Anna Martindale

Impact and Influence Manager

Anna joined CLAPA in June 2011. She looks after CLAPA’s communications, medical information, and data management, and is part of the Senior Management Team. Anna has a background in fundraising and outside of work enjoys digital painting, snowboarding and music festivals.

Email: [email protected]


Kate Flanagan

Communications Officer

Kate joined the CLAPA team as Communications Officer in November 2019. She helps to look after CLAPA’s website, social media pages, graphic design, newsletters and any other communications to the CLAPA community and supporters.

Email: [email protected]


Toni Kitchingman

Head of Fundraising

Email: [email protected]

Nicky Davis


I first joined CLAPA in June 2017 as a volunteer and was a part of the fundraising team. I soon loved the work CLAPA do in supporting families and young people affected by cleft and began to see my future career in working in the charity sector. I then gained the position of Fundraiser at CLAPA and I really love it. My previous experience has mainly been in childcare so I am very happy that I made the change into charity work. My main responsibilities are to develop, promote and manage the challenge events fundraiser programme, manage the stewardship for all challenge events participants and manage sports clubs activities.

Email: [email protected]

Rashna Choudhury


Rashna joined in her role as Fundraiser in November 2019 and graduated with her Masters in Social and Community Psychology in 2018. In her role, she supports volunteers, fundraisers and anyone who would like to donate to CLAPA by aiding them with any information they need and answering any queries regarding Fundraising.

Email: [email protected]

Denise Robson

Denise Robson

Trusts and Grants Fundraiser

Denise has been working for CLAPA since July 2016, bringing extensive funding experience to the role, and focusing on securing core funding from trusts and foundations. Denise works two days a week, generally Mondays and Tuesdays, from home in Tyne and Wear.

Email: [email protected]

Finance & Administration

Shanta Assani

Finance Manager

Shanta joined the CLAPA Team as Finance Manager in July 2020.  Shanta brings with her over 20 years of Financial experience from both commercial and not-for-profit organisations.  She has worked in small and multinational businesses, in a range of industries.

Her skills range from day to day management of Finances to End of year Annual Reports & HMRC filing.  Shanta brings with her experience of financial Stock management, HR contracts, Payroll, Pensions, Leadership & Management mentoring, Operations, and Customer Services.

When not staring at spreadsheets, she’s a busy mum of two teenagers, teaching martial arts, and training for her 4rd Dan in Karate!

Email: [email protected]

Sobia Gill

Finance Officer

Sobia joined CLAPA in June 2019.  She has over 20 years of experience in various Finance Support roles and has mainly worked within the charity sector.  Within CLAPA she supports the Finance Manager by keeping the financial systems up to date, maintaining records, processing payments, as well as other daily, monthly and annual tasks.

Email: [email protected]

Christopher Allen

Feeding Service Administrator

Chris looks after our feeding service, including processing orders and sending them out to families and NHS Trusts. He works part time in the afternoons.

Email: [email protected]

 Services & Engagement

Cherry LeRoy

Engagement & Services Manager

Cherry joined CLAPA in June 2015 as the Regional Coordinator for the South East of England.  Cherry now supports the Engagement & Services team, is the designated lead for Safeguarding and has overall responsibility for volunteering within CLAPA.  Cherry has worked in the voluntary sector for over 20 years with various family support charities.

You can contact Cherry for anything to do with Engagement & Service development, volunteering or safeguarding.

Email: [email protected]
Mobile: 079855 38982

A woman with short, dark brown hair smiles at the camera in a selfie.

Laura Ainsworth

Adult Services Coordinator

Laura joined CLAPA in June 2021 as the Adult Services Coordinator. Laura will be using the fantastic research which has been achieved over the past few years to continue to develop and implement services and resources to ensure CLAPA are supporting the needs of adults born with a cleft.

Laura’s background is in audiology and has worked both in an NHS and charity sector. In her free time she has two young children and a dog who keep her very busy but she also enjoys keeping fit and long walks in the countryside.

Email: [email protected]

Claire Evans

Children & Young People’s Services Coordinator

Claire joined CLAPA in October 2014 and has worked in the voluntary sector since graduating from University with a degree in Special Needs and Inclusion. Claire is passionate about the involvement of children and young people in decisions which affect them and loves working with CLAPA’s Children and Young People’s Council, who influence the work we do and services we offer for children and young people born with a cleft. Claire also spends her time planning and delivering events for children and young people in the cleft community with the support of CLAPA volunteers and staff.

You can contact Claire for anything related to children and young people, whether you would like to join our volunteer team who support our children and young people’s services, if you would like to find out about our plans for children and young people’s events in the future or anything else. Do get in touch, Claire would love to hear from you!

Email: [email protected]
Mobile: 07792 772362

Gillian McCarthy

External Engagement Coordinator

Gillian joined CLAPA in October 2014 initially as the Scotland Engagement Officer and then as the Senior Regional Coordinator for Scotland from September 2015. She is now the External Engagement Coordinator.

Gillian has previously worked as a Speech and Language Therapist and in Project/Service Development with volunteers as well as running her own business. She has volunteered in several roles including mentoring, e-befriending, a member of the Children’s Panel and a Childline Counsellor.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 07586 045402

Daniel Richards

Advocacy Coordinator

Daniel joined CLAPA in January 2018 and has a background in social work and various roles in the third sector. Daniel currently coordinates CLAPA’s advocacy service, responding to enquiries with information and guidance, and runs the Peer and Parent support service.

Email: [email protected]

A woman with blonde curly hair and a patterned top takes a selfie and smiles. A green hedge is behind her.

Joy Mason

Community Engagement Coordinator

Joy is delighted to be joining CLAPA in June 2021 as Community Engagement Coordinator, Joy has a background in the charity sector as head of fundraising and communications and has personal experience of having a child who has complex health needs. She also has 2 children and 2 dogs (who think they are her children!).

Joy’s role involves supporting volunteers and helping to deliver fabulous opportunities for families affected by cleft.

When Joy isn’t busy planning for CLAPA, she can often be found walking miles across the beautiful fields surrounding her home.

Email: [email protected]

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