Speech and Language therapist student, Harriet Priest, is walking a blindfolded mile on 10 December in Cannon Hill Park to raise money for charity.
In her first year at Birmingham City University (BCU), Priest and her team are working alongside the charity, CLEFT.
Who are CLEFT?
CLEFT was set up in 2007 by Mr Brian Sommerlad, who is an honorary consultant plastic surgeon at GOSH.
The charity is focused on providing permanent, sustainable ways to improve cleft care both in the UK and overseas.
They aim to “improve the lives of people born with clefts in many different ways”, which can be explained in two categories. Firstly, through sponsorship of research projects in the UK to improve treatments and outcomes for children born with a cleft.
Secondly, CLEFT’s projects in other countries aim to support local medical teams to provide long-term treatment and care for less privileged people born with clefts.
What is CLEFT’s BCU Student team doing?
As head of the student affiliation with the charity, Preist is embarking on their first challenge of the academic year - a solo blindfolded mile in Cannon Hill Park, Edgbaston, on Friday 10 December.
Priest’s mother, Sarah Kingston, will be acting as her guide throughout the walk, giving only verbal instructions.
They aim to raise £600 throughout the academic year, which they hope will be a significant help to CLEFT to raise awareness and conduct research in the UK and sustainable cleft care in less privileged countries overseas.
Throughout the academic year, the BCU student team for cleft will be completing challenges and events to raise money for the charity.
A trip to Snowden is being planned for 2022 involving two members, Ashley Davies, Vice Lead, and Olivia Smith, Social media officer.
Priest said: “This year, CLEFT has launched a Student Ambassador section. The three of us are representing CLEFT at our university to raise both awareness and funds, via solo and group events.
“We are all studying Speech and Language Therapy, which is a key part of the multidisciplinary care that cleft patients require. CLEFT is a fantastic charity and I’m very excited to be working with them.”
CLEFT’s Executive Officer, Melanie Baldwin has said “Harriet’s blindfolded walk is a creative and enterprising way to raise money for CLEFT. We are very grateful to Harriet and her fellow student ambassadors who are taking part in fundraising activities up and down the country.
“The money raised will help children born with cleft lip and palate, either through research in the UK or by supporting one of our international projects. Harriet is an inspiration to everyone and we wish her the very best of luck with her mile long walk.”
You can keep up to date with BCU’s Student Team’s progress by following them on Instagram: @cleft_bcu.
If you want to donate to help the cause, you can find the fundraiser through the BCU Student Team page.
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