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Celebrations for 20 Years of the Spires Cleft Centre!

Celebrations for 20 Years of the Spires Cleft Centre!

On the 16th and 17th May 2024, members of the Spires Cleft Centre (past and present) came together to celebrate 20 years since the formation of the service.

The Spires 20th Anniversary Conference successfully showcased the hard work and dedication of our team, past and present, to deliver first class cleft care to our patients.  It was fantastic to hear past members of the team share their incredible experiences of delivering cleft care, in both the UK and internationally, and to celebrate the journey and achievements of the Spires Cleft Centre.  We are incredibly proud of our team, and network colleagues, and thank them for sharing their knowledge and delivering presentations that highlighted best practice and cutting edge developments in cleft care.  We are hugely appreciative of the families that gave up their time to share their experiences of the cleft journey, this was incredibly moving, and is indeed the motivation that keeps us striving to be innovative, progressive and deliver outstanding care.

It was a wonderful event, thanks to hours of hard work behind the scenes to bring together so many incredible speakers and supporters of the service.

Group photo of the Spires Cleft Team

A highlight of the conference was “For the Record” – a creative project to reflect on patient experience of cleft care across two decades, using archived medical records. Mother and son Sharon and Connor Dean worked with creative artist, Stephanie Jalland, and photographer, Jason Dimmock to create a moving and insightful exhibition of words and images reflecting on their experiences from baby to adulthood. Mum, Sharon, said, “Mums, they need to see this; there are times you think, ‘Is it really going to be ok?’. They need to see so they know they are going to be ok.”

We are very grateful to Sharon and Connor for sharing their experiences, to Stephanie and Jason for the care with which they undertook the project, and to The Stars Appeal and Oxford Charitable Trust for their sponsorship.

Photo of the exhibition