Cash boost for CLAPA

July 6, 2020

Cash boost for CLAPA, as the UK’s only charity providing dedicated support to the cleft community during the coronavirus pandemic

Today, we are delighted to announce CLAPA has been awarded £10,000 of emergency funding, which will help us to continue meeting the needs of the cleft community.

The cash injection, from Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) will boost CLAPA’s efforts to refine our existing online services and develop a host of new virtual innovations. One such example includes our virtual coffee mornings where key issues such as operation waiting times are being discussed alongside less formal topics like the latest TV gossip!

Our highly valued Information Service and closed Facebook groups are always busy, but they are expected to be in even higher demand over the coming months, with our clinical colleagues in the regional NHS cleft teams predicting a significant increase in referrals as a result of the pandemic.

Toni Kitchingman, Interim CEO at CLAPA, said: “Our online services are already seeing a big rise in traffic, as hospitals struggle to cope with the backlog of cancelled operations caused by the shut-down”.

“We anticipate a sizable increase in referrals, while members of our community also come to terms with the stresses and strains of furlough, emerging from a period extended isolation and a variety of lesser anxieties which are perhaps always there, but are now being more keenly felt through a cumulative effect.”

“Sadly, CLAPA’s ability to deliver services and fundraise have both been badly affected by the pandemic – we had to cut costs by suspending our face-to-face services, negotiating payment holidays with our suppliers and furloughing seven colleagues, so this funding will make a big difference.”

“The grant will enable us to continue delivering: (1) Our vital feeding service for newborn babies with cleft – over 1,000 bottles were sent out last month alone to hospitals and families; (2) CLAPA’s website, publications, information service – providing vital patient and parent-centred knowledge on cleft; (3) CLAPA’s closed Facebook groups – where our community comes together to support each other online.”

The Charities Aid Foundation’s Coronavirus Emergency Fund was set up to help small charities, non-profits and social enterprises that were struggling amid the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. We are very grateful for their support, not least because we are fully aware of the huge competition for these funds.

During the 8 days the CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund was open for applications, they received almost 5,000 requests for nearly £40million of support, which far exceeded their available pot. Consequently, we believe our good fortune in receiving the full amount we asked for is not only a reflection of the importance of our work, but also the scale of our need at this present time and despite this great news, there is still a long way to go.

Each month for the rest of 2020, we need to raise £30,000 to keep delivering our services. This grant is hugely important because it builds on the incredible fundraising efforts already undertaken by our community, who have really stepped up over recent months when taking on personal challenges to help us keep going through lockdown.

As a small national charity, we are fighting to keep our doors open for you and your family, today, tomorrow and for as long as we are needed. If everyone who read our information pages gave just £3.50 each month, we would be fully funded, and able to devote all of our energies to supporting the people who need it the most. Will you give us a gift we can rely on, so families like yours can always rely on us?

Click here to read more about how you can become a CLAPA Champion

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