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 Cunniffe

Chief Executive Officer

Claire joined CLAPA in February 2011, initially to pilot the Regional Coordinator project, which she had 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 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 and developing partnerships with other charities.

Email: [email protected]

Lian Day

Senior Administrator

Lian joined the CLAPA team as Senior Administrator in March 2024 and provides support to the Senior Management Team and Trustees. With many years of Administration experience, she assists with a range of tasks to support the smooth running of the team’s workload.

Having a Daughter born with a cleft palate as part of the Pierre Robin Sequence, she is passionate about the work that CLAPA completes. Outside of work, Lian enjoys painting and exploring the countryside with her family.

Email: [email protected]

Communications & Information

Anna Martindale

Head of Impact

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

Email: [email protected]

Jack Common

Jack Common

Data Officer

Jack joined CLAPA in July 2022. They look after CLAPA’s data management, statistics, and reporting. Jack has a background in biology and outside of work is a writer and musician.

Email: [email protected]


Mikaela Conlin-Hulme

Head of Income

Mikaela joined CLAPA in August 2022 as Head of Income, leading on income generation and donor care and stewardship and is part of the Senior Management Team. Mikaela has 15 years’ experience in the fundraising and supporter care sector supporting a range of small and medium charities in the UK and abroad.

Mikaela has a little girl so has limited ‘free time’ but when she can normally be found baking or planning her next travel adventure! You can contact Mikaela with any fundraising idea or opportunity, she would love to hear from you.

Email: [email protected]

Louise Dutton

Fundraising coordinator ( Community and Challenge events)

Louise has worked in various sectors, including volunteering at multiple nonprofit organisations. After finishing university as a mature student, she joined CLAPA as a fundraising officer to help make a difference in a small charity. She is now our fundraising coordinator looking after Community and challenge event fundraising.

Her role involves looking after fundraisers and donors to ensure they have a fantastic experience while supporting CLAPA.

Louise enjoys travelling, exploring the outdoors and visiting new restaurants with her husband and young daughter.

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 & Operations

Shanta Assani

Head of Finance

Shanta joined the CLAPA Team as Head of Finance in July 2020.  Shanta brings over 20 years of Financial experience from 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 in 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 4th Dan in Karate!

Email: [email protected]

Louise Barker

Louise joined in January 2024 as a part-time Finance Officer. Her working background includes bookkeeping and accounting within various industry sectors. Louise has two daughters (ages 15 & 11). Her youngest daughter, Isla, was born in 2012 with a cleft palate as part of the Pierre Robin Sequence.

Isla loves life at secondary school and is approaching the age to undertake some orthodontic surgery at Great Ormond Street and a palate lengthening surgery at Broomfield. Louise has enjoyed fundraising for Great Ormond Street and looks forward to getting involved with all that is happening at CLAPA.

Finance Officer

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]

Engagement & Services

Nicky Fawcett

Head of Service Delivery

Nicky joined CLAPA in January 2024 and is part of the senior management team. She leads the Engagement and Services team in developing partnerships and delivering high-quality and effective services for the cleft community. Nicky has over 20 years of experience working in the charity sector in various senior roles. She is particularly passionate about health and wellbeing and community engagement, which is part of the reason why she was so keen to join CLAPA. Outside of work, Nicky enjoys Pilates, cooking and spending time with her family.

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]

Antonia Sinclair

Antonia Sinclair

Community Engagement Coordinator

Antonia joined CLAPA in April 2022 and is part of the Engagement and Services Team. Antonia’s role is to work alongside volunteers and staff to organise and deliver a variety of online events providing support, information, entertainment, and a place to meet new people.

Antonia has worked and volunteered in the events industry for many years and has a passion for providing inclusive and diverse opportunities for all to get involved in. Antonia has a young son and enjoys performing at festivals with her husband and the rest of the band in her free time.

Antonia would love to hear from you, so do get in touch if you would like to find out more about the events we have going on, to suggest some ideas for future events you would like to see taking place, or if you would like to volunteer to support these events.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07718124612

Becky Croft

Adult Services Coordinator

Becky joined CLAPA in October 2022 as an Adult Services Coordinator and is part of the Engagement and Services Team.

Becky has over ten years of experience working within mental health services in the NHS and has a degree in Psychology and Sociology. Becky has previously worked as a Mental Health Nurse and has spent time volunteering within different charities and organizations. Becky is passionate about supporting people and will be creating events and developing the service CLAPA provides for adults in the cleft community with the support of CLAPA volunteers and staff.

When Becky isn’t at work, she enjoys walks in the local countryside with her family, including two sausage dogs. You can contact Becky with any suggestions or questions about the Adult Services CLAPA provides.

Email: [email protected]

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