My son Edward was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate, and has been cared for by the GOSH team since he was born in 2008.  I was invited to become a trustee of the charity in 2009 after attending a presentation at Great Ormond Street and saw an opportunity to give something back and to help create sustainable improvements for those in developing countries where little or no care is available, and ongoing care is rarely available.  A very important part of the CLEFT mission is to encourage lasting improvements in developing countries by providing training and equipment for local medical staff to provide care to cleft patients from childhood to adulthood rather than by flying in Western surgeons to provide primary care without focusing on follow-up care.  

As the parent of a child with a cleft, I was also keen to help support research into improvements in care and into the causes of clefts, which does not receive funding from pharmaceutical companies.