Whitgift Care Announces Ongoing Support For International Children’s Cleft Charity, Smile Train UK

Croydon-based care provider, Whitgift Care, has today announced that it is partnering with the leading children’s cleft charity, Smile Train UK, for the remainder of 2021, and will be launching a series of fundraising events for residents, staff and their families living in its care homes and sheltered housing – as well as the wider community – to take part in.

Cleft lip and palate is the most common facial difference in the UK, with around 200,000 babies born with a cleft worldwide every year. Without cleft surgery, more than 90% of these children will die by the age of 20 if they do not receive treatment*.

To tackle this worldwide issue, 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 cleft in their local communities.

To date, Smile Train has supported over 1.5 million cleft surgeries worldwide. The charity was picked by Whitgift Care after residents voted they would like to change the lives of children and babies around the world.

To kick-start the partnership, Whitgift House recently launched an Easter party, where residents and staff members raised an incredible £500 for the charity – covering the cost of more than three cleft surgeries.

The party involved a full day of festivities and fundraising, also including a raffle, a socially distanced egg hunt and an easter bonnet parade.

The care home has already lined up several other fundraising activities for the rest of the year, including a garden party which they are hoping to hold in late June, to mark Smile Train UK’s 15th birthday.

Dolores Pickersgill, Director of Care, Whitgift Care comments: “We are delighted to announce Smile Train UK as our official charity partner for 2021 and look forward to giving our support to such a worthy Charity. We wanted to choose a charity where we can clearly see the impact that our fundraising is having and for our residents and staff to support such a worthwhile cause for young people. With cleft surgery costing as little as £150, it’s amazing to know the difference this will make to children’s lives across the world and we are delighted to be part of this”.

Ian Vallance, Director of Smile Train UK comments: “We are thrilled that Whitgift Care has decided to support Smile Train UK over the course of 2021, and absolutely loved hearing about the Easter raffle that took place recently with its staff and residents.

“All monies raised by Whitgift Care will make an enormous difference to children globally, so we would like to say a big thank you to everyone at the care home for their continued support.”