Children and Young People’s Council

CLAPA’s Children and Young People’s Council are 9-17 year olds with a cleft from all around the UK. They meet up four times a year.

We are a group of people who:

  • Care about improving services and support for children and young people with a cleft
  • Want a chance to have our say
  • Want to make a real difference for other young people like us

At the CYPC meetings we:

  • Invite visitors – people such as Cleft Surgeons and researchers
  • Write a newsletter which we send to a readership of 850 people every six months
  • Enjoy meeting other young people with similar experiences
  • Plan fundraising events and work out how to help CLAPA raise awareness of cleft
  • Have the chance to go on a residential weekend once a year
  • Have lots of fun, banter and pizza!!

CYPC Meeting Feb 2014

In our role as CYPC members, we:

  • Are national representatives for children and young people affected by cleft lip and palate
  • Attend meetings in London 3 times per year
  • Chair these meetings and take minutes
  • Contribute articles for the CYPC newsletter
  • Get to go on our own residential weekend
  • Welcome new members and buddy up for their first few meetings

What we’ve done so far:

  • Had a visit from Children in Need who fund the CYPC – one of our members appeared on BBC Radio to promote the appeal and went along to watch the show!
  • Set up a Penpal scheme with CleftStars in Australia
  • Trained as Peer Mentors
  • Been visited by the Medicines for Children Research Network (MCRN) about designing age appropriate information for hospitals
  • Had a visit from the Tag Rugby Trust to hear about their Leadership programme
  • Made a film about the CYPC with the White Lantern Film Company
  • Waved goodbye to a total of 5 members who turned 18 – all of whom have gone to become adult volunteers for CLAPA
  • 5 of our members + 1 ex-member went on a European Exchange to the AzoresHeld lots of individual fundraising and awareness raising events each year during Cleft Awareness Week in May
  • Supported one another through surgery, difficulties at school and issues with confidence

CYPC in Portugal

What’s in it for you?

Lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn new skills

Build your confidence and resilience

Have loads of fun, banter and pizza!! 🙂

Who can join?

Anyone aged 9-17 who has a cleft lip and/or palate and can regularly travel to London with a parent or carer – travel expenses will be covered!

We have a maximum of 15 members. CYPC spaces are in demand and we do have a waiting list.

We are especially looking for members from Northern Ireland, Wales, North West England and Central England, as we try to ensure the council represents the needs of children and young people throughout the UK.

Find out more

Contact Sally: [email protected]

Getting Involved with Research

CLAPA’s Children and Young People’s Council – Research from CLAPA Video on Vimeo.

We filmed this video in February 2016 for the ‘Appearance Matters 7’ Conference. It features CLAPA’s Children & Young People’s Council (CYPC).

The CYPC spoke about why they got involved with the charity and what having a cleft means to them. They also talked about how they’ve made a big difference by helping researchers to make their work more accessible for young people with a cleft.

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