Dentaid’s workshop is a busy place. Our warehouse manager Stuart Bassham explains what his team has been up to.
Here at the new Dentaid HQ in Totton, our volunteers have been busy with lots of varied projects. Having moved here in April, the work is nearly complete and our workshop is almost fully functioning.
One of the last tasks is to build a shed to house our compressor. Terry has designed and is building it out of scrap wood and pallets and it’s really taking shape.
We’ve also been doing some cladding in our new meeting room and lathe work to prepare the winding handle extensions for our portable dental chairs.
Dave and I have cleaned up two suction units one of which has already started its journey to Ukraine. Dave has also been servicing a large compressor which is destined for the Maldent project in Malawi. Earlier this year, I travelled to Malawi with Dentaid volunteer Terry and Professor Jeremy Bagg from Glasgow University Dental School to install six training units with phantom heads and 16 dental chairs in the dental department at Lilongwe hospital. This picture shows them arriving.
They will be used to help train a new generation of dental therapists in a country where there are fewer that 50 dentists for a population of 19 million. We needed another six training units and luckily six were offered by the dental department at St Richard’s Hospital in Chichester. We will service and ship them to Malawi along with more Belmont chairs we have been collecting and restoring.
We have also prepared two small compressors – one of which is destined for Moldova, and our volunteer Rob has been patiently working with two autoclaves to get them up and running. Another volunteer, Dermot, has been checking and servicing hand pieces reading for dispatch around the world.
Finally, we have been cleaning up a chair and light that will be sent to a surgery in Kenya and our volunteer Adrian has been working on making our portable dental chair lighter while maintaining its strength. This means we can now make a chair that’s 5kg lighter.
This is just a snippet of our work and there have been many more minor tasks carried out too. We have a wonderful team of volunteers and please get in touch if you’d like to join them.