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Dena Corden-Le Petit. Cleft Lip and Palate Association Volunteers. Parent Contact Deputy Chairperson of Stafford Branch Clapa Parent representative for the Cleft lip and palate network board for North West England, the Isle of Man and North Wales (Manchester Hospitals).

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dena corden le petit

Dena Corden-Le Petit

Cleft Lip and Palate Association Volunteers

Parent Contact
  • Deputy Chairperson of Stafford Branch Clapa
  • Parent representative for the Cleft lip and palate network board for North West England, the Isle of Man and North Wales (Manchester Hospitals)
what is a parent contact

What is a parent contact?

“Someone who can provide support, offer reassurance, help with confidence and ensure a new family can enjoy their baby from the benefit of their own experience.”

Parent contact Training 2008

who do parent contacts work with
Parents – at any stage of diagnosis and treatment

Family and friends

Clapa Head office

Clapa Branches

Specialist Nurses

Cleft team coordinator

Speech and language therapists

Other health professionals – GP’s & Midwives

Who do parent contacts work with?
branch activities
Raising Awareness

Sponsored events

Coffee mornings

Fun days

Children's Christmas party.

Duck race.

Branch Activities
cleft lip and palate network board for north west england isle of man and north wales
Cleft Lip and Palate Network Board for North West England, Isle of Man and North Wales.
  • New role
  • Two parents – representing the parents, carers and children who attend the Manchester and Alder Hay Hospitals.
  • Evolving role – Initial impressions are very positive with active consultation at last board meeting.
Nazneen Khan

CLAPA Volunteer,


national steering committee

National Steering Committee

Inaugural meeting, 20 September 2008 CLAPA Head Office, London

  • Improve communication/ the relationship between branches and Head Office and inter-branch dialogue
  • Future meetings focus on improving the services we offer/ how to achieve our goals as CLAPA volunteers
•Andy Till, Aberdeen

•Charlotte Cockburn, Glasgow

Mary Dawson and Amanda Dunlop, Northern Ireland•

Joyce Russell, Merseyside•

Jane Whittingham and Tracy Wareham, Stoke•

Dena Corden-Le Petit, Stafford•

•Mary Newbold, Cambridge

•Naz Khan, Independent

Vanessa Middleton, Great Ormond Street•

Mel and Pete Leslie, Independent•

•Barry Hancock, South London & Surrey

Natalie Rigg, Bristol•

we discussed
We discussed:
  • CLAPA’s Aims
  • Our reach
  • The role of branches
  • The role of Head Office
  • The realities of running a branch
  • What difficulties do branches face?
  • Expectations
  • Communication
  • National identity and membership
  • Key areas for improvement
role of branches
Role of Branches:
  • Regional presence
  • Provide local services


-awareness raising


-support for professional team

  • How many activities do branches actually need to provide?
  • Concern around merging branches
branch forum
Branch forum
  • Some unaware of it or unsure how to use it – will use more now that they know the other people involved
difficulties faced by branches
Difficulties faced by branches
  • Hard to maintain interest
  • Hard to attract new volunteers
  • Huge commitment for committee members
how can clapa support its branches
How can CLAPA support its branches?
  • Practical Support
  • Communication
  • Bring branches together
  • Data management
  • Acknowledgement
relationship with cleft teams
Relationship with Cleft teams
  • Parent Contacts and branches need strong relationships with cleft teams
  • The cleft team needs to be aware of local branches and that there may be a number in their region
  • Cleft team needs to have confidence in CLAPA representatives
  • CLAPA should compliment not compete with the Cleft teams
  • NHS distribution
  • Information in the right places and with the right people
  • Information on the parent experience
  • Branch/parent contact details in the free starter pack
  • Press, National Childbirth Trust (NCT) and local mums networks to raise awareness
parent contacts
Parent Contacts
  • Awareness
  • More biog for each contact
  • Use skills in other areas?
  • Training for health professionals?
health and safety risk assessments
Health and Safety, Risk Assessments
  • Volunteers need more advice from H.O.
  • Details of insurance and accountability
some outcomes
Some Outcomes
  • New focus
  • Clarification of roles and available support
  • Tools to improve communication
  • Training
the future
The Future
  • Annual ‘National Steering Meeting’, combined with a training day
  • Representative(s) from each branch to attend
  • Advisory group(s) to work on specific projects:

1. Re-writing the branch manual

2. Deciding our minimum set of services

3. Deciding agenda for next N.S. Meeting