Cleft Lip and Palate Association

Cleft Lip and Palate Association

At a glance


  • Children / families
  • Health and well being / research and care
  • Men
  • Mental health
  • Physical disabilities
  • Women
  • Young people

Other details

Geographical remit: 
National - Britain


The Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) is an award-winning charity that works to improve the lives of people born with a cleft and their families in the United Kingdom.

CLAPA was founded in 1979 as an entirely volunteer run charity.  We are now a 20,000-strong community of parents, patients, cleft healthcare professionals and more, all dedicated to raising awareness and working together to overcome any barriers caused by cleft lip and palate.

Cleft lip and/or palate can cause a wide range of problems including difficulties feeding as an infant, differences in the way speech sounds, fluctuating hearing, and differences in the appearance of teeth, lip and nose.  Treatment includes support of new parents in feeding their baby, surgery (sometimes many surgeries), speech therapy and braces.  The treatment pathway extends through childhood to the age of about 20 years.  Some adults will also want and need treatment.  Not surprisingly individuals and families may also need support from clinical psychologists in various ways and at different stages in life.  No two families will be affected in the same way. The journey through treatment and beyond isn’t easy, but CLAPA believes that with the right help and support, everyone affected by cleft can face the world with a smile.

Our vision is of a society where everyone affected by cleft feels supported, connected and empowered to take control wherever they are on their cleft journey.


Our services include:

  • Online and local support groups help people affected by cleft to feel positive, connected, and in control.
  • Local and national events – from family days to confidence-building weekends – which bring people together so no one has to go through their journey alone.
  • Specialist feeding equipment for babies born with a cleft in the UK, and supplies nearly 500 new families with free ‘Welcome Packs’ each year.
  • Trained parent and patient volunteers providing one-on-one support at all points of the cleft journey.
  • A comprehensive, accessible information service led by the needs of our community.
  • Trained volunteers educate schools, local communities and even healthcare professionals about cleft lip and palate.
  • Collaboration with researchers to make their work accessible to our whole community.

No current opportunities

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