20,000 Brits granted Tooth Fairy wishes

Twelve organisations have successfully bid for funding from a new charitable fund which will help nearly 20,000 people to improve their oral health.

The British Dental Health Foundation established the ‘Oral Health Education Project’ earlier this year to support the work of local oral health promotion teams across the UK.

The project has been made possible by a generous charitable donation of £100,000 from the Wrigley Tooth Fairy Fund.

The activity forms part of the Foundation’s 40th anniversary celebrations later this year and Wrigley’s own centenary celebrations in 2011.

Twelve organisations will receive funding in 2011, which attracted interest from nearly 50 bodies from across the UK.

Regions to benefit from the fund include the East Midlands, East of England, London, North East (three projects), South West (two projects), West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humberside (three projects).

Many of the projects will help people in disadvantaged communities, especially support for young children and families in areas of poor oral health.

Funding has also been allocated to projects to help the elderly and vulnerable people, including in-patients during hospital stays.

There is also significant investment in projects to integrate and support oral health education into the National Curriculum in Primary Schools at Key Stage One and Key Stage Two.

Overall, the projects will help an estimated 20,000 people and families when they commence next month.

Chair of Judges and Trustee of the British Dental Health Foundation, Lorna Grazette said: “We received many impressive bids and judging proved very challenging. I would like to congratulate all the winners and also thank everyone who submitted bids this time.

‘I know there were many disappointed people and organisations, but we are confident the winners will make a significant contribution to the lives of nearly 20,000 people to benefit from the Fund.’

Dr Nigel Carter, the British Dental Health Foundation’s chief executive said: ‘Funding for oral health promotion and education is becoming increasingly scarce as public spending continues to be cut-back. It is an area of major concern to the British Dental Health Foundation.  As well as lobbying Government to keep oral health a priority, we will continue to work hard to secure new funding to help more projects in the future.’

Louisa Rowntree, corporate affairs at Wrigley, said: ‘The response to the Oral Health Education Project exceeded all our expectations. The winning bids really represent the objective of the Wrigley Tooth Fairy Fund – that of funding activity to improve the oral care of the British public.

‘I am excited about getting on the road and seeing the projects in action.’

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