Be proud when you do something great, says Catherine Rutland, but always be willing to seek support when you need it too.

Sometimes in life we do things that make us really feel proud.

Often with pride, it is associated with how we feel about those close to us – our children especially.

Culturally, we don’t often like to admit we are proud of ourselves – it’s just not ‘British’!

On 4 August, I was very proud of two other dentists and myself.

One of them was my brother, Dominic Hurst, and the other was Jim Lafferty.

Asking for help

What had we done to be proud of? Well, two things.

One: we swam 14km down the Thames from Henley to Marlow, along a beautiful stretch of the river (and, so far, no Weil’s disease has kicked in).

Two: we had decided to raise money and awareness of the Dentists’ Health Support Trust (DHST), and have been overwhelmed by the support of our friends, family and our profession.

The DHST works tirelessly for our profession – at times when it is possibly at its lowest point.

Although it has helped so many of our profession over many years, often the people who need it most are not aware of it.

I am lucky to work for a company that gives a large amount of profits to charity and this year has supported the trust to create wallet-sized cards that the DHST can give to professionals so their contact details are available, if needed.

From my experience, that first step of asking for help and knowing where to go is important.

Pride in these cases sadly works negatively and people find it very difficult to do.    

In the last couple of kilometres, when my shoulders were tired and the river got choppy as I neared Marlow, at one point I almost felt someone had turned the flow of the river round.

The fact kicked in at that point that I was swimming for a cause.

Be proud when you do something that deserves it; however, please don’t let it stop you asking for help if you need it.

There are so many people waiting to listen and support.


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