CLAPA from the Outside

August 22, 2016

Caitlin BishopThis week’s blog is from Caitlin Bishop, our Communications Assistant.

Hi! I’m CLAPA’s new Communications Assistant, new in two sense, firstly Communications Assistant  is a new position for CLAPA, as far as I know I’m the first in CLAPA’s long history (we turned 37 this year) and secondly I’ve only been here for maybe 3 months!

I was going to explain my average work week, but I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I have one! Some things are pretty consistent, #FundraisingFriday as I’m sure you already know (or if you didn’t, could probably guess) is pretty regular. The rest of my week is less so, at the moment I’ve been helping to put CLAPA News together, something you will all get to see at the beginning of next month, no spoilers but it’s looking awesome.

CLAPA News 2015_Page_01
Last year’s edition

This week is pretty vastly different from one of my earlier weeks here, helping out at the London 10k, taking photos and putting together our race video (it took about a week, I loved doing it, but I swear that song by Kevin MacLeod haunts my dreams)!

CLAPA at the Vitality British 10K London Run from CLAPA Video on Vimeo.

The one thing everything I do here has in common is the remarkable amount of work put in by CLAPA’s dedicated volunteers, from running branches and fundraisers, to getting involved in things like the Adult Voices and Children & Young People’s councils. That’s what makes working here so much fun, particularly when it comes to celebrating those achievements, putting together things like #FundraisingFriday is such a joy because I get to read about and congratulate everyone who works so hard for CLAPA.

From the outside CLAPA is a pretty small organisation, there are only 9 people in the office most days (and 2 of us are very new) and 16 staff members in total, but the amount of things that CLAPA does are kind of astonishing. Supporting a community of approximately 20,000 people, a number which grows every day (on average 3 babies with a cleft lip and/or palate are born in the UK every day) is no small feat, and it is in no small part down to how active and dedicated you all are, not only do you raise thousands of pounds every year, but you are also integral to developing and maintaining CLAPA’s support structure. It’s your willingness to get involved, to pick up responsibilities, and support each other that lets CLAPA work as effectively as it does. If only I could share the number of times someone has said to me they’d be willing to do whatever as long as it helped CLAPA! The generosity of the members of this community is hard to fully convey, it’s certainly not something I was expecting when I started!

I think it’s worth saying and remembering that everything all of you do is extra-ordinary, it can sometimes be a tad diluted, you look around the community and see people working so hard, giving up their time for others, and it can be easy to forget that you are all the exception to the rule, that the effort you all go to is exceptional, not ordinary or standard. It is so much easier to see when you’re new, but it’s that that makes my job special and fun!


Caitlin ?


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