Doncaster rugby player is using his platform to raise awareness for cleft lip and palates
A Doncaster rugby player wants to help young people with cleft lip and palates to feel normal and seen by raising awareness and education.
Ben Howe is passionate about using his platform at the Doncaster Dons to make positive change.
Ben, 20, from Kirk Sandall, said: “I myself have a cleft lip and because I play rugby I always get people asking me if it was a sports injury.
“Most people don’t have knowledge about it but I want to change that.
“I think the impact this could have on younger people could be really great.
“When I was a kid it was seen as something negative and caused me embarrassment when people didn’t know what it was.”
Ben will be working with Smile Train a charity who specialize in cleft lips.
“I will be doing fundraisers in the form of physical challenges,” he said.
“And I will use my platform as a Don’s player to spread the message as far and wide as I can.”
Ben is especially interested in raising awareness in children through work in Doncaster schools.
“I just want to help children with cleft lips feel comfortable being who they are,” Ben said.
“Help them with their confidence and give them an outlet to talk about it.”
Ben also wants to raise awareness for those who do not have the same access to health care that he did.
“I was very lucky,” he said.
“I had eight surgeries in my first year of life.
“But in some countries that isn’t possible and it can impact people for life.”