London’s Calling: CLAPA Adult Services Coordinator Position

I am excited to announce that in December I was offered and have subsequently accepted the position of UK Adult Services Coordinator with the Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA). This is a 3 year fixed term position based in Central London, but my role will be covering all corners of the UK ensuring that every adult born with a cleft can access support whether they’re residing in Waterloo or Wick. The role is an exciting and varied one researching the unique challenges faced by people with cleft in adulthood, and developing a programme to address those challenges. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first role of its type in the world dedicated to looking at the needs of adults, and I am optimistic that the knowledge gained will extend well beyond the UK. I am confident that my background both as a person born with cleft lip and palate and as a practicing Speech Language Therapist will serve me well in this role.

I think for those who know me well, it is probably not too difficult to see why this role appeals to me, although I’m sure you can appreciate that coming to this decision has not been an easy one. When I was offered the role, I was incredibly torn, particularly because I am incredibly content in my current roles and was not otherwise looking for a change. However, this is an incredible opportunity where I sincerely hope to make a tangible difference, an opportunity that I would not wish to pass up.

Whilst I am delighted to be able to see those of you who live in the UK & Europe much more often, I will be leaving New Zealand with the heaviest (and fullest) of hearts. I love New Zealand, I love the people here – my family, friends and others whom I have met here, the city I live in – over the last 17 and a half years New Zealand has become home (alongside the UK – I consider myself very lucky to have two countries I consider home). I am very fortunate that in this new role, I will have a leave entitlement which will allow me to return to New Zealand each year for Christmas and to soak up some of the January sun. Of course, the world is also an increasingly smaller place, and so I fully expect to be hosting visitors from NZ to London on a regular basis!

I will also be leaving my roles at The TalkLink Trust and Plains FM, two roles and organisations which I love and care a great deal about – in both cases made so incredible by the people I have the privilege of working with everyday – in many cases, people who I now consider to be good friends.

I will start my new role in March. Thank you to those of you here in NZ who have supported me in this journey, I have greatly appreciated your advice and overwhelming sense of support for the decision which I have made.

Interview on Newstalk ZB, Christchurch, 28 Nov 2017

Listen and watch on demand as Kenny speaks with Canterbury Mornings Host Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB about growing up with Cleft Lip and Palate, and the upcoming film night for Wonder. This is the second of two interviews on Newstalk ZB on this topic.

More information on Wonder and ticket bookings available here.


Interview on Newstalk ZB Christchurch, 19 Oct 2017

Listen in on demand as Kenny speaks with Canterbury Mornings Host Chris Lynch on Newstalk ZB about growing up with Cleft Lip and Palate, and the upcoming film night for Wonder.

More information on Wonder and ticket bookings available here.


Invitation to an evening of Wonder

Wonder Trailer
Essential Details

When: Sunday 03 December 2017 – 5.30pm-8.00pm
Where: Reading Cinemas, The Palms, Christchurch
What: Screening of the film Wonder preceded by Kenny Ardouin’s personal journey.
Who: You, your friends and family – places are limited, so be in quick though and book your tickets to avoid missing out!
Ticket price: $11 (+ eventbrite booking fee) – this is cost price.
Book tickets now:

Questions/queries: Email

Listen to the interview about this event on Newstalk ZB – 19 Oct 2017.

As those of you who know me will know, over the past 26 years, like everyone else on the planet, I have faced some challenges. There is no doubt that having been born with cleft lip and palate has played a substantial part in defining who I am today.

Many of you reading this will have stood alongside me as I’ve navigated this journey at its various stages – at times where I was adjusting to the medical realities of the condition, at times where I was facing the challenge of trying to fit in when I was born to stand out, and at times where I was coming to terms with the emotional challenges that this journey has presented.

In 2012, a great book called “Wonder” by R. J. Palacio came out, and follows the story of Auggie Pullman, a 10 year old boy living with Treacher Collins syndrome and a cleft palate. The story follows him as he starts a new school where he faces bullying and betrayal in his quest to fit in and make friends – a story that anyone who has a facial difference will be able to attest to. The story provides hope and encouragement, and resonated well with me – in fact, since the book came out in 2012 I’ve ended all my public engagements and presentations with a direct quote from the book.

Later this year, Wonder is being released as a film, and I have organised a special screening at Reading Cinemas The Palms to share this moment with you.

Earlier in the year, I had one of the privileges of my life to deliver the keynote speech at the UK Cleft Lip and Palate Association conference, where I shared aspects of my journey that I have since realised, I have not shared with those closest to me – partly because it’s difficult to articulate, and partly because I’ve felt that perhaps people wouldn’t understand. On this night, prior to the start of the screening of Wonder, I am going to take a few minutes to share some of my thoughts from my own journey with you.