CLEFT 14th International Conference

In July, Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre was the venue for a large gathering of cleft care specialists from all over the world. Delegates were able to hear about the latest research in cleft care and to share practice and experience. CLEFT’s Chair and founder, Brian Sommerlad, led a fascinating presentation and discussion about its international work and many of our trustees delivered results of research in an astonishingly rich programme of events. Several of our international guests gave papers and presented posters. 

Lunches and break-time teas and coffees were served in the exhibition space, in the basement of the centre. Here companies and charities displayed their wares and sought support from delegates. CLEFT was one of the charities and its display included films of its work in its two branches of research and international outreach. The stand certainly enjoyed a lot of attention during the week and many new contacts and friendships were made. It was fascinating to talk to those involved in cleft and to hear the challenges and successes in different parts of the world.

A highlight of the week was a reception organised by Clare Rivers, cleft surgeon and member of the fundraising committee. The evening consisted of food, drink and music and a more informal opportunity to meet members of the cleft (and CLEFT!) community. The evening was funded by a number of personal donors – not with CLEFT funds.

Pictured below: Brian Sommerlad and Luqman Majid - Surgeon from Sulaymaniyah, the centre in Kurdish Iraq which we support, in front of the CLEFT stand.

Research News

The committee has put out a call for research proposals and is delighted that, due to the recent successful fundraising is able to offer up to £50,000 for a project. In addition, this is first time since CLEFT became a national charity that researchers from all over the UK are invited to apply for funding. The closing date for proposals is September 30th, 2022. The process of application and advice are available on application. It is expected that there will be a good response. It remains the case that the causes of cleft lip and palate are, in most cases, unknown.

Fundraising Summer Successes

We are very grateful to all our fundraisers and every penny raised is precious to CLEFT. However, special thanks to Vinay Tanna (pictured at the top) who complete the National Three Peaks Challenge in July and who has, so far, raised an impressive £1540.

You may have read about David Sainsbury’s 18km swim across Lake Windermere which he completed in July and raised £896.
Sophie & Poppy also completed a sponsored swim and raised £1037.
Well done to all our fundraisers.

Half-marathon Season

September and October are the peak half marathon season for CLEFT runners with three half-marathons:
11th September - The Great North Run
25th September - The Great Bristol Run
9th October - Royal Parks Half Marathon

Nearly all the places to these runs are now filled but do look at ‘Our fundraisers’ page and consider donating to some of our runners’ pages.

Formal Dinner - Friday 21st October 2022, 7-10pm

Tickets are now on sale for our Formal Dinner, which will take place at London’s Civil Service Club on Friday 21st October. It is open to anyone who supports CLEFT and is an opportunity to meet trustees and others involved in cleft care. Tickets cost £70 each and will include a three-course meal and wine and music. There are 65 places in the attractive Queen Elizabeth dining room and we expect to fill the room. Enjoy an evening out while supporting CLEFT. Each ticket donates around £30 to CLEFT. Book your tickets here