Friday, 19 April 2024
Friday, 19 April 2024

A look back on 2022 and a BIG thank you to our supporters

As another year passes by, we reflect on what has been a fantastic 2022 for the largest cleft-focused charity, Smile Train.

From collaborating with our partners Kids Operating Room (Kids OR) to transform sixteen operating theatres in Smile Train partner hospitals across Africa (with another 14 in the pipeline!) to debuting the 3D printed Smile Train Simulare Bilateral Cleft Lip and Palate Simulator.

The simulator has helped reduce barriers to training for cleft surgeons around the world, to partnering with the 14th International Cleft and Craniofacial Congress in Edinburgh – it’s safe to say, it’s been a busy twelve months! 

And we couldn’t have done without the ongoing support and generosity of our wonderful family of UK supporters. Some of the supporter highlights which have made this year so special include: 

  • Smile Train UK fundraisers taking on tremendous challenges and conquering fears in order to raise vital funds for Smile Train, including abseiling, cycling from London to Paris, the London Marathon, and hiking the Three Peaks, to name just a few!
  • Welcoming two new Ambassadors into the Smile Train family. In May, UK national treasure, Elizabeth Hurley, known for her work as an actress, model, businesswoman and philanthropist, was announced as a Global Ambassador to help raise widespread awareness of our cause. And more recently, paediatric doctor and social media influencer, Dr Kiran Rahim – also known as @TheMunchingMedic on Instagram – was announced as a UK Ambassador to support education and empowerment. 
  • Installing not one, but two, interactive billboards, which handed out a ‘free smile’ to passers-by to highlight that every three minutes a baby is born with a cleft. The first billboard was located in Edinburgh back in July, to mark the launch of the 14th International Cleft and Craniofacial Congress, and the second was outside London’s King’s Cross Station, to celebrate our World Smile Day in October. A big thank you to all of the supporters who came and visited us and shared their smiles. 
  • Launching our very first celebri-TEA mug auction to celebrate our favourite annual fundraiser, the Big Smile Tea Party – where thirteen of the UK’s biggest household celebrity names signed and donated their favourite mugs to raise money for Smile Train. 
  • During the last month, two very special UK supporters have joined us for a Journey of Smiles in countries where we operate. Long-term supporter and Smile Train UK Ambassador, Nathan Abbott, and Miss Universe GB, Noky Simbani, recently visited Smile Train partner hospitals in Kenya and Thailand, to meet our beneficiaries and see first-hand how donations are making a difference to cleft-affected children globally. 

We can’t wait to see what 2023 will bring with our supporters, and look forward to continuing to change the world together, one smile at a time. 

To learn more about Smile Train UK, please visit: smiletrain.org.uk 

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