Information Evening & AGM (Oct’03) – Report

The Association’s AGM took place on the evening of Thursday, 16th October, in the William Stokes Building, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin 8.

The AGM was preceded by addresses from our two guest speakers, Ms. Helen Smith from the UK organisation Changing Faces, and Ms. Laura Fingleton, the newest addition to the national committee of the Association.

Helen provided advice and words of encouragement to those born with a cleft, while Laura spoke as one born with a cleft and the influence it has had on her life to date.

Changing Faces is an organisation that was set up in Britain over 10 years ago. It’s aim is to enable people to tackle disfigurement with confidence. It does this by providing information, support, counselling, workshops, family days and other activities. The organisation has researched practical ways to help deal with difficulties that may be experienced at school or elsewhere. Changing Faces works with individuals, parents, health and educational professionals and other support groups such as CLAPA UK.

Laura is a confident 20 something who was born with a cleft. Laura gave a very well received talk in Spring on her personal experiences of growing up with cleft. As a committee member Laura’s focus is supporting teenagers and young adults.

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