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Supporting those most in need across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly this Christmas

Smile Together Dental CIC Stand: J51

From donating Christmas boxes and oral health packs to hosting integrated healthcare pop-ups, our teams have once again pulled out all the stops to make a difference to those who need us most.

Having supported Cornwall Health for Homeless with their multi-disciplinary, integrated healthcare pop-up clinics in locations right across the county, the 2023 partnership programme culminated once again in a festive pop-up hosted in our Harleigh Road Dental Centre in Bodmin, which always works so well, having multiple rooms allowing for a host of healthcare provision including dental check-ups and urgent treatment.  On the day, in addition to our much-appreciated dental care, anyone attending could access a range of services from health checks and liver screening from Healthy Cornwall, confidential support with alcohol, drugs or mental health through We Are With You charity, through to support for those in temporary accommodation and the ever popular hair and beauty services from Iconic Cornwall. Pasties and doughnuts were also provided on the day from Malcolm Barnecutt’s Bakery with generous funding from Smile Together.

Our colleagues frequently collaborate with other healthcare professionals, especially through our dedicated Outreach team, and these pop-up events in particular make such a difference to vulnerable people. Colleagues from almost every Smile Together location across Cornwall have supported Health for Homeless pop-ups again this year, including with our mobile dental unit.

Generous Smile Together colleagues from right across the county also made up 9 Christmas gift boxes for those attending on the day based on advice from Shelter which included oral health products, hats, gloves, handwarmers, a puzzle book, clean underwear, baby wipes, talcum powder and sanitary products for women, amongst other items. In addition, our colleagues contributed enough food items for 7 Christmas dinners in a box, donated to Newquay DISC for this year’s #CornwallChristmasBox appeal for local families in need.

Our annual Smiles at Sea initiative, providing free dental treatment to fishermen and their families, successfully culminated at Plymouth harbourside in December and, in the run-up to Christmas, Smile Together colleagues set themselves an ambitious goal to have donated 10,000 oral health packs to Foodbanks, homelessness and other charities best positioned to reach those families and individuals most in need across the county (and beyond). We were already at 7,500 packs donated so, through November and December, we collectively made up the additional 2,500 family and individual packs (with extra help from Zoe of Cornwall Chamber of Commerce) and donated them – from Helston to Torpoint and everywhere in-between, including across the Tamar to the Salvation Army in Devonport. A mammoth undertaking but those receiving the packs were, as always, so grateful that we added their happy photos to our Smiles for Christmas advent calendar countdown on social media – an opportunity to shine a light on their valuable work alongside our teams’ extraordinary contribution in local communities.

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