Thursday, 25 January 2018

Dentaid - Improving the world's oral health

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash


'Teeth are always in style'

Dr Seuss

There are a few professions which illicit a fairly uniform response.  When meeting a body language expert the majority of us would uncross our arms/legs and maintain eye contact.  And when you meet a Dental Hygienist, you stop smiling or force a closed lip smirk.  

I met Kate, a Dental Hygienist, when two of our children were at nursery together. Kate has been a fabulous supporter of me and everything I've been involved in since we met, often through using her creative skills while enthusiastically embracing a budget of approximately zero!  When I asked her if she could choose a charity for me to support as part of the Fortycubed challenge she immediately thought of raising funds and awareness for oral health.

Dentaid - Equip, Treat, Educate, Train

The UK charity Hope Now saw a need for a dental charity after being approached by a prison governor in Ukraine regarding the dental needs of inmates.  A local dentist had agreed to come to the prison if they could set up a surgery there. A UK dentist who was upgrading his surgery donated his old equipment and the clinic was a great success.  Dentaid was formed in response in 1996.

Dentaid takes a four fold approach to improving oral health both in the UK and abroad.  


  • Sends reconditioned donated dental equipment and portable dental surgeries to projects in many different countries.


  • Sends teams of volunteer dental professionals from the UK to countries where there is a real shortage of dental care. The volunteers run clinics and outreach programmes in refugee camps, remote villages, schools, prisons, orphanages and community buildings. 


  • Runs toothbrushing programmes and oral health lessons in nurseries, schools and community buildings in the UK and overseas.


  • Works alongside in-country dentists to share expertise and promote best practice. Dentaid provides training for dental students, opportunities for dental graduates and ongoing support for dentists around the world.  In the UK Dentaid offers opportunities for Foundation Dentists to volunteer under supervision on our mobile dental unit so they can develop their skills in a community outreach clinic.

But we have NHS dentists in the UK?

Dentaid has identified that many people in the UK find it difficult to access dental treatment.  Many homeless and vulnerable people are not registered with a practice and don’t know what to do when dental problems arise.  In some parts of the country there are long waiting lists to register with an NHS dentist.  Dentaid’s mobile dental unit visits homeless shelters, day centres and community buildings providing free emergency treatment for people in pain. 

It is easy to dismiss the importance of teeth until something goes wrong with them and as George Bernard Shaw said, 'To a person with toothache, even if the world is tottering, there is nothing more important than a visit to the dentist'.

If you would like to support Dentaid as part of the fortycubed challenge please click here.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Fighting Fortycubed Fatigue!

After the Fortycubed Gala Dinner I wanted to guard against 'Fortycubed Fatigue'.  Therefore, Fortycubed has kept a low profile over the Christmas period but plans have been bubbling away and we are now ready to launch the first fundraising events for 2018!  

Donations have been rolling in over the Christmas break and the current overall total stands at £32,293!  Thanks to all those individuals who donated and to 1-Fix Limited who held an Elf Day just before Christmas to raise funds for Alzheimer's Society.

Friday 26th January - Dentaid Coffee Morning

Dentaid made it onto the front page of The Daily Mirror this week with a story about their work in the UK but this charity makes a significant difference to oral health both in the UK and overseas.  

My friend Kate has long supported me as the 'creative director' both on the school PTA  and in the Fortycubed campaign.  As well as being a creative genius (without any budget whatsoever), she is also a dental hygienist and passionate about teeth and oral health.  Kate and I will be hosting this coffee morning to raise funds for Dentaid.  For those of you taking an extra healthy approach to January, we will make sure there are herbal and fruit teas available to try if a slice of cake is off the menu.

Monday 5th February - Massage Marathon


Beth from Westwood Massage is donating to charity all proceeds from massages carried out on this day between 9am and 6pm.  The donations will be split between Meningitis Research and Ronald McDonald House Charities.  These charities are close to Beth's heart since her daughter was hospitalised with meningitis.  You can read Sophie's story here.  You can choose between a relaxing or a sports massage lasting for half an hour or an hour.  Please contact if you would like to book a massage.


Saturday 12th May - Eurovision Sweepstake

I admit that I am not a devoted viewer of the Eurovision Song Contest but I will have much more interest this year as I see if I am lucky enough to win the Fortycubed Eurovision Sweepstake as we raise money for Alzheimer's Society.

Sunday 10th June - Singalonga Sound of Music

The Link Visiting Scheme aims to reduce loneliness, to promote friendship, to celebrate and honour older people in our community. I wrote about my personal experience of The Link and the difference it has made to Celia and her Link friend in a previous post.  

This year the organisation celebrates its 20th Birthday and we have hatched a plan to hold a Singalonga Sound of Music fundraising event at The Whitty Theatre to celebrate!  We want to fill the theatre with singing nuns, Julie Andrews lookalikes or any other direction your creativity takes you! There will be food, drink, time for a practice and a guarantee of laughing your leiderhosen off! Tickets can be purchased via this link. Only 170 tickets are available!

Friday 22nd June - Yellow Coffee Morning for Cystic Fibrosis Trust


The week ending 22nd June is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Week and Fortycubed will be co-hosting a fundraising coffee morning with a couple who have a grandson with Cystic Fibrosis.  You can wear yellow, eat yellow food (not snow) or simply wrap a slice of cake in a yellow napkin!  



Martin takes on the Mont Blanc Challenge!

My husband Martin is a Trustee of The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust.   He will be attempting to climb Mont Blanc in September to raise funds for this charity which combines his love of sailing with his unwavering commitment to building confidence and self-esteem in young people.