Who is the service for?
Young people born with a cleft aged 12-17 who would like to talk to someone else born with a cleft. We know that having someone to talk to who shares life experiences can be really valuable; your Mentor will know what it's like to go through surgery, make decisions about cleft treatment, and share their experiences of how they have dealt with questions and negative comments about their cleft. They will be able to relate to feelings you might have about your cleft, and we think that talking through how you feel with a trusted adult will help you become more resilient, feel positive, and better cope with cleft-related challenges.
Is this the right time for you?
Mentors aren't trained therapists or medical professionals. If this kind of help is more what you need, please get in touch with us anyway, as we would really like to help you get the support you need. If now isn't the right time, you can come back at any time in the future.
Keeping everyone safe
It is our job to make sure you and your Mentor stay safe. This is why all conversations will happen on Brightside, a mentoring platform. This lets you and your mentor communicate without sharing personal details like your contact information. The platform will freeze messages with risky words until a CLAPA staff member can check the content and ensure it is safe to pass between Mentee and Mentor.
How it Works
Mentoring is about being safely guided by a trusted person, using mentoring tools and techniques to move towards goals and targets. The first couple of weeks are about getting to know each other and building trust. Your Mentor will share experiences with you that you might be able to relate to, we hope that this will help you feel that you aren't alone in what you are going through and by sharing how you feel with your Mentor, you can make plan together to help you move forward and finish mentoring feeling stronger and more positive.
Make sure to give us as much detail as possible about any support needs you might have so that we can support you to get the most from your mentoring experience. There is a section at the bottom of the form for your parent/carer to fill in so we know they are happy for you to take part.
Confirming your place
We will send a confirmation email when you are accepted.
We'll then send you:
A guide to mentoring
An invite to join a CLAPA staff team member on zoom, so we can chat a little about you and about mentoring and make sure this is the right place for you
A video guide to using Brightside, the mentoring platform we will use for all communication between you and your Mentor
Some details about the Mentor you have been matched with
Young people of all backgrounds, races, religions, genders, sexualities, and differences are welcome at all CLAPA services. If there's anything we can do to make you feel comfortable and welcome, please let us know when you sign up (there's a space on the form to do this).
Safeguarding at CLAPA
If you have any worries, thoughts, or questions about anything at any time, we are here to listen and support you. Safeguarding means protecting you from harm. It is our job at CLAPA to keep you as safe as possible. If you feel unhappy or uncomfortable, please reach out to your Mentor or a member of the CLAPA staff.
Find out more about how we keep children and young people safe at all CLAPA events.
How CLAPA Uses Your Data
We collect and store the information you provide in this form in order to sign you up with the Cleft ++ Mentoring Service and keep in touch with you before, during and after. We'll store this information on our secure database, but only a small number of staff with special training and background checks can access it. We won't share your personal information with anyone or any other organisations unless we need to in order to run this service or we have a safeguarding concern.