Medical Info

Peer Contacts are adults born with a cleft lip and/or palate who have been trained by CLAPA to provide one-on-one support to anyone in need.

If you have a cleft and would like to talk to someone else who may share some of your experiences, you can call or email any Peer Contact listed here.

If you prefer, CLAPA can talk to a Peer Contact on your behalf and ask them to get in touch with you, just call 020 7833 4883 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with your preference and contact details.

Peer Contacts

North Thames Cleft Service
  • Andrew Dixson-Smith
    Andrew Dixson-Smith

    I was born with a cleft lip and palate in 1951, which was successfully repaired at Great Ormond Street Hospital, at a time when to my knowledge, there were no cleft teams as such. I have had a long career in sales and marketing and have run my own business for the past 15 years as a care fees planning specialist, providing advice to the elderly moving into care. I have a high profile for this work and present seminars most weeks, regularly report to the National press with case study articles and make radio broadcasts. I would like to help younger adults and encourage them as much as I am able, as well as assisting CLAPA generally in awareness. I live in Surrey and my hobbies include motorcycling.
    Location: Surrey

Northwest England, Isle of Man, North Wales Cleft Service
  • Saff

    Hey all, I am Saff, I am an adult born with a Unilateral Cleft Lip and Palate. I was born in 1980, before the restructure of Cleft services within the NHS, I had all my treatment undertaken at Pinderfields Hospital in West Yorkshire. From childhood I have had numerous operations, the earliest I recall is at 13, which was the repair of my Palate, followed by around 4 years of braces whilst I was at uni, which was preparation leading up-to a Bi-maxillary Osteotomy (Re-alignment of the top and bottom jaw) in 2002. In 2007, for no apparent reason my Soft palate came undone, which brought me into treatment under the new Specialist cleft centres. I naturally chose Manchester, the most local to me. Under there expert care, I have have had 4 more years of Orthodontic and other treatments treatment at 4 different hospitals around the North West, including braces, in preparation for a RED Frame osteotomy of the Maxilla (Using a fixed frame to bring the upper jaw forward). I have also undertaken 2 more operations to repair the fistula. The case is not yet closed :D I have been a member of the Adults Voices since its inception in 2010, also undertaking other more fun roles within CLAPA as a volunteer. I am now a member of the Peer contacts. I hope to hear from adults from all backgrounds and share experiences and knowledge of the Saff Saga. Being from an ethnic minority I feel i will have faced different experiences and pressures in almost all aspects of my life.
    Location: Manchester   E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Scottish Cleft Network
  • Jon

    Hello, my name is Jon. I was born in 1975 with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. I had a series of operations and orthodontic treatments through childhood, with a final operation in 1995 to close the hole in my palate. I decided not to proceed with any further surgery once my palate was repaired. I grew up in the London area, however I have been based in Scotland since 1998 and I currently live in Edinburgh where I work as a Producer for arts projects and events. I chaired CLAPA’s Adult Voices Council between 2010 and 2013, and in 2014 I became a Peer Contact. I am always happy to hear from other adults with clefts who would like to ask questions or share their experiences, particularly those who also live in Scotland.
    Location: Edinburgh   E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Spires Cleft Service
  • Charis

    Hi my name is Charis I was born in 1987 with Pierre Robin Sequence and a cleft of the soft palate. I also had glue ear and was deaf until my second set of grommets were put in and have had a double squint repair. I am currently under the Oxford cleft team getting orthodontic treatment in Swindon leading to jaw surgery in Oxford. I am also under the Oxford genetics team to see if there is a link between my eye problems and my Cleft as well as to see why I have PRS as I am the only one in my family with it. I live in Marlborough a small town in Wiltshire, where I was also brought up with my 3 sisters. I trained to be a Norland Nanny and am currently working for a number of different families. I am interested in Egyptology and Classical History. I love being outside and going on walks and socialising with friends and family. I became a volunteer for CLAPA in 2013 and have helped at children’s residential weekends and have now become a peer contact. I am happy to hear from anyone in my area or anyone with PRS.
    Location: Wiltshire   E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

West Midlands Cleft Service
  • Tony

    My name is Tony and I am originally from Reading but now live in Birmingham. I was born with a cleft palate which was successfully repaired in Great Ormond Street Hospital in the early fifties. I have recently retired having spent almost thirty years in the teaching profession. My hobbies include keeping fit, reading, gardening and travelling around Britain.
    Location: Birmingham   E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)