Spring Fling will help to raise a smile

A child before and after the cleft operation.
A child before and after the cleft operation.

A Spring Fling event to raise funds for a charity that provides free corrective cleft surgery to Indian children who cannot otherwise access such care is being held in March.

Simon Barnes, of Bashall Barn, is sponsoring a three course meal for 100 people on March 11th. Entertainment will be provided by singer Nick Gunn and the evening will be rounded off with a DJ provided by Dance Floor Couture.

Dr Sheila Bailey, administrator and fundraiser for the Northern Cleft Foundation, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Simon for this wonderful gesture. Such kindness helps us to plan for our next outreach in 2018.”

Representatives from the charity, which was founded by Dr George Teturswamy from Mellor, who was then working as a consultant anaesthetist at Blackburn Royal Infirmary, are flying out to Nagpur in India to perform its 16th outreach.

Dr Teturswamy was recently awarded a Point of Light award by the Government in recognition of his volunteering work. To date, representatives from the Foundation have performed 1,500 transformative operations.

The small team of medical personnel that went on the first outreach has grown exponentially. This year’s team is over 50 strong and will include consultant cleft surgeons, consultant anaesthetists, trainee doctors and specialist nurses including anaesthetic nurse, Justine Ibbotson, from Clitheroe, who has been on several trips.

She said: “No one in the organisation takes a salary and costs of equipment and patient care are met by donations and fundraising. It is due to the kindness and generosity of so many people that the charity is able to keep reaching out to ever more children. This surgery really does change lives. Cleft defects can have physical, psychological and social implications for those affected so this treatment is incredibly important and really does give the children we see something to smile about!”

Tickets for the Spring Fling cost £25 and are available by emailing sheila@northerncleftfoundation.co.uk or call Anne Geldard on 07885 503411.