My daughter Willow was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate. She was lucky enough to receive an excellent level of care at Great Ormond Street Hospital and was operated on by Mr Brian Sommerlad. Growing up, Willow has always felt grateful to live in a country where cleft care is excellent and readily available. From a young age she decided to raise money to help the charity headed by the surgeon who operated on her, allowing other children around the world to receive the same successful cleft repair that she did. At the age of 8, she swam 2 kilometres, which took just over an hour, and raised over £12,000 for CLEFT. Since then, she has created many of the CLEFT Christmas cards, which have been sold to raise more money for the wonderful causes that CLEFT support. 

As Willow’s mum, I was asked to become a trustee of CLEFT in 2020 and am particularly keen to find fun and innovative ways to raise funds to help the charity achieve its goals in improving cleft research and establishing comprehensive and sustainable cleft care in lower income countries based around training and education as well as surgery.