Dental charity Dentaid has celebrated its move to new premises near Southampton with an open day for its friends and supporters

Last Friday, guests including chief dental officer Sara Hurley, councillors, business leaders and dental professionals gathered at the charity’s new headquarters to meet staff and trustees.

Among the guests was Dentaid’s earliest supporter Vic Jackopson, who helped found the charity after a British dentist sent a reconditioned dental clinic to a Ukrainian prison in 1996.

Dentaid trustee Fiona Ellwood was also present, the day before the announcement of her BEM for services to dentistry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

The new headquarters are in Totton, near Southampton, which has space for volunteers to recondition and refurbish dental equipment sent overseas, parking for the mobile dental unit which provides outreach care for homeless and vulnerable people in the UK, and office space for the charity’s staff.

The move would not have been possible without the generosity of Bishop’s Move removals company and a team of volunteers who worked tirelessly to renovate the building in just three months.

Funding for the project came from The Valentine Charitable Trust, The Beatrice Laing Trust and individual donors.

An octet from Ocean Harmony barbershop chorus performed at the open day as guests enjoyed refreshments, videos showing Dentaid’s work and tours of the workshop where volunteers make portable dental units sent to Dentaid’s partners around the world.

‘An exciting new phase’

In his speech, chairman of trustees Jeremy Hett thanked Dentaid’s supporters past and present and everyone who had been involved with the project.

‘After 20 years at Dentaid’s rural Landford base, the charity has moved to smart new premises in Totton.

‘It was wonderful to celebrate an exciting new phase for the organisation, as it seeks to build strategic relationships with the local community.’

Dentaid CEO Andrew Evans commented: ‘I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters and the volunteers who made this dream a reality.

‘The demand for Dentaid’s projects increasing access to safe, sustainable dental care in the UK and overseas is growing all the time and our new headquarters will give us a great base from which we can expand our work and help more people.’

Sara Hurley added: ‘Dentaid has always had a great heart and now it also has a wonderful home.’

To find out more about Dentaid’s work in the UK and overseas visit www.dentaid.org