Greenbank fundraising week supports cause close to home

Greenbank Prep School - Mike Hey is pictured with mum Katy and baby Sophia with School Captains Ellen Skelton and Jaie Somaia and Headmistress Janet Lowe.
Greenbank Prep School - Mike Hey is pictured with mum Katy and baby Sophia with School Captains Ellen Skelton and Jaie Somaia and Headmistress Janet Lowe.

Greenbank Preparatory School fundraisers supported one of their own through the painful journey of managing a cleft lip and palate during their annual Charities Week.

21 months ago Nursery Nurse Katy Burgon at Greenbank Day Nursery gave birth to a beautiful baby girl Sophia, who had trouble sucking.

A day later they were told she was one of the 1 in 700 babies born in the U.K. with a cleft lip and palte and would need reconstructive surgery and continuing support.

Mum Katy, who is a key member of the staff at the independent school in Cheadle Hulme, said: “At a time of great joy there was also great concern but we had fantastic support from everyone, Stepping Hill Hospital, Greenbank School, and, of course, our family and friends. CLAPA, the Cleft Lip and Palate Association, were also there to offer support, guidance and practical support when we needed it most.”

Now Sophia is recovered and though she might need some further attention as she grows older, cosmetically she is as bonnie and beautiful as any other bouncing bundle of joy.

Greenbank Headmistress Janet Lowe said: “Previously we have dedicated our Charities Week to international, national, regional and local causes but this year we kept the money with our own family to support Katy and Sophia as we know how difficult yet rewarding their journey has been.”

Mike Hey, Chief Fundraising Officer for CLAPA, the Cleft Lip and Palate Association, said: “We are only a small charity but as we grow, the demands on our resources grow ever more quickly. We rely on volunteers to support parents and children going through the trauma of having a cleft lip and or plate and we continue to work with them up until they are 25.”

Mike added; “What many people don’t realise is that although cosmetically surgeons can offer wonderful treatment, that it may take 15 or even 20 operations and there are consequent problems with talking, eating and breathing. Our mission is to ensure that everyone born with a cleft lip and or palate can lead a happy and fulfilled life.”

Greenbank raised £4152.64 for CLAPA with a mini beast disco, cake sales, sponsored walks, sponsored silences, a non uniform day and a wonderful musical concert staged by the full school for parents and relatives.

Mike Hey is pictured with mum Katy and baby Sophia with School Captains Ellen Skelton and Jaie Somaia and Headmistress Janet Lowe.