It has been a busy time, even for the whirl-winding Dr Linda Greenwall, who in addition to her ‘normal’ commitments to her dental practice, lecturing and writing, was recently awarded a Women in Business Award and hosted the official launch of the Good Deed toothbrush at the Annual Dental Wellness Trust dinner at the House of Lords.
The dinner was addressed by a number of the patrons and supporters of the Dental Wellness Trust, including Baroness Helena Kennedy QC who commented: ‘Building on its many successes to date, The Dental Wellness Trust remains committed to improving the oral health of disadvantaged and vulnerable people of all ages. Through improvements in oral health, individuals are able to enjoy enhanced health and wellbeing; qualities of life that should be a right rather than a privilege. As one of the patrons of the charity I am delighted to be able to support, promote and facilitate the activities of the trust.’
Good Deed toothbrush
One of the ways she demonstrated this support was arranging for the trust event to be held at The House of Lords. The dinner and silent auction were organised both to raise funds for the charity and awareness amongst its supporters of the trust’s achievements during the year.
Prime among them was the launch of the Good Deed toothbrush – a philanthropic new initiative with the sole aim of giving 30,000 toothbrushes to children in need in 2016 (building this figure to 3 million in the years to come). The brushes are being sold at 60p for a child’s toothbrush and £1.00 for an adult’s and for every brush sold an identical one will be given to a child somewhere in the world who does not have one.
According to Dr Greenwall the aim was to create a simple initiative: ‘To get toothbrushes to a child in need, all anyone needs to do is buy one for themselves from their dental practice or via the Good Deed website – www.gooddeed.info. The money raised buys a brush for a child in the UK or the developing world who doesn’t have access to even the most basic means of dental health.’
Other Good Deed initiatives
The aims of this scheme were lauded by the choreographer Arlene Philips, CBE, who also addressed the guests at the House of Lords. Arlene has had a glittering career working with stars from screen, stage and TV, including a role as judge on Strictly Come Dancing. Despite her success, Arlene remembers her modest start in life, when affording a toothbrush was a stretch for her family, and encouraged the assembled guests to consider a toothbrush as one of life’s necessities, rather than a luxury for anyone in difficult circumstances.
The Dental Wellness Trust acknowledged the support of Henry Schein Dental and CTS Dental Supplies, who are helping to distribute the Good Deed toothbrushes via their reps, their website or catalogues.
Linda Greenwall explained that the Good Deed toothbrush is only one part of the work carried out by the Dental Wellness Trust (but is fundamental to its success). Other initiatives include providing supervised tooth brushing programmes for children in South Africa, and an evening hygiene programme called Livesmart, which is helping thousands of children by providing them with toothbrushes, toothpaste and soap. The charity also works with elderly, disabled and marginalised people in the UK, eastern Europe, Ghana, Ruwanda, South Africa, and Israel to help improve their access to good oral health.
Other speakers at the event included Carl Wright, secretary general of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Sir Paul Beresford, MP, and Professor Nairn Wilson, who is a patron of the charity and Dr Alan Livny, head of research for the Dental Wellness Trust. Other patrons who were also present included the eminent dentists Mervyn Druin, Ellis Paul and Peter Galgut.
Dr Greenwall concluded: ‘75% of the world’s children have no access to a toothbrush to clean their teeth. As a dentist I consider it a good deed to brush your own teeth and to help others to do the same. The message is simple: when you buy a Good Deed toothbrush, we give one to a child in need.’
Good Deed toothbrushes are available via www.gooddeed.info.