A LEADING dental charity that increases access to dental care around the world and in the UK has moved to Totton.
Dentaid’s new home is a refurbished warehouse on Commercial Road which has been transformed into the charity’s headquarters by a team of dedicated volunteers.
Dentaid sends reconditioned dental equipment to dentists around the world, along with portable dental surgeries that fit into a wheelie bin. These DentaidBoxes are used to set up a dental surgery in the poorest and most remote locations in the world and can be operated without access to running water or electricity.
The new building also has room for Dentaid’s mobile dental unit which is used to provide outreach dental care for homeless and vulnerable people across the UK, including Two Saints’ Patrick House hostel in Millbrook. Volunteer dental professionals take the dental unit to soup kitchens and day centres and also park it in fishing ports where they run clinics for fishermen who often find it difficult to access dental care.
Dentaid celebrated its move with an open day attended by England’s Chief Dental Officer Sara Hurley, councillors, business leaders and dental professionals.
Among the guests was Dentaid’s, earliest supporter Vic Jackopson, who helped found the charity after a British dentist sent a reconditioned dental clinic to a Ukrainian prison in 1996. Dentaid trustee Fiona Ellwood, who was awarded the British Empire Medal for Services to Dentistry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, also attended.
The move is the culmination of months of hard work mostly carried out by volunteers. Dentaid’s former premises were crumbling temporary offices and a separate warehouse on a remote site in Landford, Wiltshire which was inaccessible by public transport. The move would not have been possible without the generosity of Solent-based Bishop’s Move removals company and a team of volunteers who worked tirelessly to convert the building in just 3 months.
At the open day music was provided by an octet from Ocean Harmony barbershop chorus. Guests enjoyed refreshments, videos showing Dentaid’s work in the UK and overseas and tours of the workshop.
In his speech chairman of trustees Jeremy Hett thanked Dentaid’s supporters past and present and everyone who had been involved with the project.
After 20 years at Dentaid’s rural Landford base, the charity has moved to smart new premises in Totton. It was wonderful to celebrate an exciting new phase for the organisation, as it seeks to build strategic relationships with the local community.
Dentaid CEO Andrew Evans said:
I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters and the volunteers who made this dream a reality. The demand for Dentaid’s services increasing access to safe, sustainable dental care in the UK and overseas is growing all the time and this premises will allow us to meet it.
Photo: Dentaid CEO Andy Evans & chief dental officer Sara Hurley at Dentaid’s open day
Photo Gallery: Dentaid Charity