Board of Trustees

CLAPA’s governing body is a board of Trustees who are all volunteers. The board is a mix of people affected by cleft lip or palate (with a cleft or parent of a child with a cleft) and health professionals involved in the care of people born with cleft lip and palate.

Individual Trustees are selected on the basis of what skills they can bring to the running of the charity. Vacancies are advertised on the website and via e-newsletters.

For more information on individual Trustees, see their personal bios.

Rona Slator (Chair) – Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Clinical Director, West Midlands Cleft Service
Nick Astor – PR and Communication professional and father of a child with a cleft
Jas Bhachu – Finance Professional and Treasurer
Peter Hodgkinson – Consultant Cleft and Plastic Surgeon, and Clinical Lead Newcastle site Northern and Yorkshire Cleft Service
Oliver Hopkins – Management Consultant and adult born with a cleft
Jemma Morgan – IT professional and mother of a child with a cleft lip and palate
Marie Pinkstone – Lead Speech and Language Therapist, North Thames Cleft Service
Amelia Strangeways – Communications Professional and mother of a child with a cleft lip and palate

David Drake – Consultant Cleft and Maxillofacial Surgeon with the National Cleft Surgical Service for Scotland

Trustees help CLAPA by using their varied skills and backgrounds to provide an overall strategic direction to the charity. They meet four times a year to review accounts and strategies, with the fourth meeting being an ‘Away Day’ where topics are discussed in more detail.


Photo of Rona Slator

Rona Slator


Former Coordinator of West Midlands Cleft Service, Rona is a cleft specialist Plastic Surgeon and she became Chair in 2016.


Photo of Nick Astor

Nick Astor

Nick is a broadcast and media professional with over 16 years experience. He has led an award winning animation company and, amongst many roles over 13 years at the BBC, commissioned online comedy and helped launch the successful global iPlayer VOD app. For a decade he sat on the committee board of The Network; a small charity dedicated to giving people from all backgrounds help to break into the media industry. He had also worked with other charities, such as Catch22, offering advice and consultancy. He is now a proud member of the Trustees with CLAPA.

Jas Bhachu

Photo of Peter Hodgkinson

Peter Hodgkinson

Consultant Cleft and Plastic Surgeon, and Clinical Lead Newcastle site Northern and Yorkshire Cleft.
Peter has had an interest in clefting since his PhD research when, while still a medical student in Manchester, he spent 4 years investigating craniofacial morphology in adults with cleft lip/palate using state of the art computer graphic statistical methods.  He subsequently qualified in medicine and went on to train in plastic surgery in Manchester, Slough, Newcastle, South Wales and Adelaide, South Australia. He has been a Consultant Cleft and Plastic Surgeon in Newcastle since 1996 and has led the cleft team in Newcastle upon Tyne since 2002.  Peter has a strong interest in multidisciplinary cleft working, and with colleagues in Newcastle and support from CLAPA he co-produced an informational film for parents about multidisciplinary cleft treatment.  When not working (almost never) he is a qualified horseman with an interest in heavy horses and keeps 3 Suffolk Punches – the rarest UK breed of horse with fewer breeding animals worldwide than there are giant pandas.

Oliver Hopkins

Oliver is an adult born with a cleft who works in London as a freelance consultant.

Photo of Jemma Morgan

Jemma Morgan

I have been aware of the CLAPA charity since my son was diagnosed with a cleft lip and palate at the anomaly scan in February 2012. I became a member of the charity shortly afterwards. Rowan (pictured) was born in July 2012 with a right-sided unilateral complete cleft lip and palate. Rowan’s operations (3 so far) have been performed by Mr Cobb in Bristol. Since Rowan’s birth I have done some individual fundraising for CLAPA including running the Bristol 10K in May 2014 and nominating CLAPA for a charity award through the company I work for (Controls and Data Services) resulting in over £1000 raised. I am an IT Professional, currently working as an Implementation Consultant. In my spare time I like to run, grow fruit and vegetables on our allotment and visit art galleries and museums. Becoming a trustee and actually taking part in shaping this organisation for the future is really exciting, especially as someone who has relied on CLAPA’s support and will continue to do so for years to come. You can follow me as @Jemmorgs on Twitter.

Photo of Marie Pinkstone

Marie Pinkstone

Specialist Speech and Language Therapist with the North Thames Cleft Service in Great Ormond Street Hospital

Amelia Strangeways

Amelia is a communications professional from Scotland with more than 15 years experience of working in the media and communications. Having started out as a print journalist, Amelia worked within communications for the NHS in Scotland before making the change to the tourism sector. Amelia lives in rural Scotland with her husband, two sons and Beagle. Her eldest son Innes was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate and with firsthand experience, Amelia is hugely supportive of the work of CLAPA and a proud member of the Board of Trustees. 

David Drake

Dave Drake is a consultant Cleft and Maxillofacial Surgeon with the National Cleft Surgical Service for Scotland at the Royal Hospital for Children and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Glasgow. He was a consultant in Morriston Hospital in Swansea for 13 years with the Welsh Cleft service. He has recently moved to Glasgow to join the Scottish Cleft Service.  He has held multiple posts in medical training both at a local and national level. His research interests include early growth changes in cleft lip and palate and speech outcomes in cleft palate patients. His  interest in surgical training led to his being the Chair of the Training Interface Group for cleft surgery in the UK. He travels to India and Nepal treating cleft patients and supports the development of local cleft surgeons and services. In his spare time Dave loves exploring on mountain bikes and motorbikes and travelling with his 3 sons.

Dave has always been a keen supporter of CLAPA both locally in South Wales and nationally and is excited about being a trustee of CLAPA and continuing to help and support the charity.

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