Bridging the gap...

Help CLEFT to bridge the gap and make a difference.

Who We Are

CLEFT is a charity which aims to research the unanswered problems in improving care for children born with cleft lip and palate and supports cleft teams in several poorer countries. We aim to push the boundaries of conventional treatment by funding research into improving operating techniques and by looking at the underlying reasons for cleft deformities. We also support cleft lip and palate teams in the developing world by working with them to improve surgery and facilities. Registered with the Charity Commission in 2007, CLEFT has been set up by the North Thames Cleft Lip and Palate Centre based at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children London, and the St Andrew's Centre, Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford Essex.

The day-to-day running of the charity is overseen by a board of trustees. Applications for project funding are considered by a Research Steering Group who, with their specialist medical knowledge, make recommendations to the trustees for their final decision on grants. Funding given to support cleft teams in poorer countries are reviewed by the Overseas Steering Group who make recommendations to the trustees.

Trustees and Steering Groups


Mr Brian Sommerlad (Chairman)
Mr Martin Hickman-Ashby
Mr Mark Dwyer
Mr Richard Allan
Mrs Rosie O'Malley
Dr. Emily Anderson
Dr Gwyneth Sommerlad
Mr Rory Walker
Mr Paul Morris
Mrs Janette Hollingbery
Mr Norman Hay

Research Steering Group

Mr Brian Sommerlad (Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Chair)
Dr Malcolm Birch (Medical Physicist)
Dr Alex Habel (Consultant Paediatrician)
Dr Melissa Lees (Consultant Geneticist)
Mr Paul Morris, (Plastic Surgeon)
Dr Debbie Sell (Specialist Speech and Language Therapist)
Dr Phil Stanier (Consultant Geneticist)
Mr Paolo di Coppi (Consultant Paediatric Surgeon)

Overseas Steering Group

Maria Pinkstone (Speech and Language Therapist)
Brij Patel (Consultant Orthodontist)
Julie Hughes (Clinical Nurse Specialist)
Dr Emily Anderson



Get involved and help us reach our target

Event Image


Donate to CLEFT by texting CLFT05 £5 to 70070. You can also donate £10 by texting CLFT07 £10 to 70070.

Event Image

Moonlight Colourthon Southend 2017

Saturday 1st July 2017 The Moonlight Colourthon is a half marathon evening walk along the Essex coastline along the cliff tops of Southend and then through picturesque Old Leigh.

Support us

Keep updated

Get Involved