A coffee and cake morning at Market Harborough’s town centre theatre has raised almost £650 for a leading children’s charity.
The event at Harborough Theatre, which also featured a sale of donated goods and attracted over 50 people, generated £647.80 for Smile Train UK, the international children’s cleft charity.
The get-together was staged by Harborough District Councillor Peter James and local charity stalwart Joan Bosworth with the Good Companions Fundraising Group.
Ian Vallance, the director of Smile Train UK, said: “Thousands of children are born with clefts, with many experiencing problems with eating, speaking, hearing and breathing – they can also be ostracised from their communities for being ‘different’.
“All monies raised by this event will make an enormous difference to children globally.
“We are absolutely delighted with the outcome and would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated money, cakes and goods in support.”
Cllr Peter James said: “I have supported Smile Train for many years and have been lucky enough to witness their incredible work first-hand in partner hospitals across the world – most recently Brazil at the end of 2019.
“The money raised here in Harborough will mean that children who live thousands of miles away can receive free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care – giving them for ever smiles.
“Although it is in many ways a drop in the ocean, I know it will mean the world to each one of those children and their families.”
Cllr Phil Knowles, who leads the Liberal Democrats on Harborough council, added: “I am full of admiration for those who arranged the event and for the generosity of the community here in Harborough.
“It’s astonishing that in just a few hours the people who attended the event raised enough money to change the lives of children so many miles away.”
Cleft lip and palate is the most common facial difference in the UK.
Without cleft surgery, more than 90 per cent of youngsters would die by the age of 20 if they do not receive treatment.
You can find out more about the Smile Train UK charity here: https://smiletrain.org.uk/