Award for Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise

Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise has been awarded the prestigious Social Enterprise Mark at a ceremony held at Plymouth University during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

The Social Enterprise Mark is the only independent validation that an organisation is putting people and planet alongside profit. The process for awarding the Social Enterprise Mark is extremely rigorous and it is a real achievement that shows true commitment to improving accessibility to oral health improvement and treatment.

A key element of the work of Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise is the development and execution of projects that will have a positive impact on oral health and access to dental treatment.

One such project was an oral health round table, which was held in Plymouth in November in partnership with Wrigley and Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry. The event featured key figures in the world of dentistry, local MPs and other leading thinkers and focused on how local health stakeholders can best work together within the new NHS landscape to encourage people to take better care of their oral health.

Another project in its infancy is a collaboration with the Institute of Digital Arts Technology at Plymouth University. Plans are afoot to develop an educational experience using the university’s immersive vision theatre, which is effectively a dome in which images are broadcast with the audience at the heart of the action. It is likely that the project will see images of a giant’s mouth, featuring teeth, gums, tooth brushing, having a filling and other dental activity. When the project goes ahead, potentially later next year, it will be the first time in the world that this technology will be used for such a purpose.

Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise employs 70 members of staff, including dental nurses, technicians and administrators, and will continue the good work of Plymouth University Peninsula Schools for Medicine and Dentistry’s dental education facilities in Exeter, Plymouth and Truro, and its community engagement team.

The latter has built impressive relationships with the communities in which the dental education facilities sit, and it also manages the special study units undertaken by first- and second-year dental students. These are projects that see students go out into the community and address issues of oral healthcare and oral health inequalities by working with a wide range of groups, from primary school pupils to care homes, substance abusers and the homeless.

Robert Witton, director of social engagement at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and director of Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise, said: ‘Achieving the Social Enterprise Mark is a hugely significant endorsement of all that we do, and my congratulations go to colleagues and partners who have helped us obtain this prestigious important award.’

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