All smiles at Lutterworth Rotary's donation to children’s cleft charity - The Rugby Observer
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14th Aug, 2022

All smiles at Lutterworth Rotary's donation to children’s cleft charity

‘FOREVER smiles’ will be put on the faces of children across the world thanks to a charity donation from the Lutterworth Rotary Club.

The club has given £1,000 to Smile Train UK, the international children’s cleft charity.

A cheque was presented to Peter James, who received it on behalf of the charity after giving a presentation on its work, during which he talked about his experiences visiting hospitals in Laos, the Philippines and Brazil.

He thanked the Rotary Club for the donation, which he said would fund life-changing surgery for several children, enabling them to lead a normal healthy.

He said: “I have supported Smile Train for many years and have been lucky enough to witness their incredible work first-hand in partner hospitals across the world – most recently Brazil at the end of 2019.

“The money raised by the Lutterworth Rotary club will mean children who live thousands of miles away can receive free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care – giving them forever smiles.

“Although it is in many ways a drop in the ocean, I know it will mean the world to each one of those children and their families”.

Cleft lip and palate is the most common facial difference in the UK, with a baby being born with a cleft – an opening or split in the upper lip, the roof of the mouth or both – every three minutes. Without cleft surgery, more than 90 per cent of these children will die by the age of 20 if they do not receive treatment.

Smile Train uses a sustainable ‘Teach a Man to Fish’ model, which empowers local healthcare professionals with the knowledge, skills and training that is needed to treat babies and children with clefts in their local communities.

To date, Smile Train has supported over 1.5 million cleft surgeries worldwide.

Ian Vallance, Director of Smile Train UK said: “Thousands of children are born with clefts, with many experiencing problems with eating, speaking, hearing and breathing – they can also be ostracised from their communities for being ‘different’.

“All monies raised will make an enormous difference to children globally. We are absolutely delighted with the outcome and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated money in support.”

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