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National award winners

Dentaid has won a prestigious national award in recognition of its work providing outreach dental care for head and neck cancer patients. Dentaid was named winner of the Best Healthcare Support by a UK Charity Award at the Our Health Heroes Awards delivered by Skills for Health.

Volunteer dental professionals provide treatment for head and neck cancer patients before, during or after their cancer treatment at University Hospital Southampton.  The project has been funded in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support and Southampton Hospitals Charity and has provided more than 100 people experiencing cancer with pain relieving and restorative dental care.

Dental care is delivered on Dentaid’s charity dental units which travel the UK providing outreach dental treatment for people experiencing homelessness, poverty, abuse and health inequalities.  In addition to providing essential treatments like extractions and fillings, the service for cancer patients in Southampton has provided dentures for those who lost teeth due to radiotherapy treatment, helping to increase their confidence and self esteem.

“I got diagnosed with cancer a few years ago and since then I lost all my confidence mainly because most of my teeth fell out due to the treatment I was having. What I miss most about my teeth is being able to smile and laugh without the feeling that people may be looking at me. I also miss not being able to eat and drink what I want to,” said Alison Whitehead, who received treatment and dentures thanks to the project.

“Thanks to Dentaid I am finally able to smile and feel confident in myself. I’m so excited to be able to smile again. I can’t wait to eat the foods again I haven’t had for years. This is going to change my life.”

Members of the Dentaid team and dentist Mary Green who is one of those who volunteered for the project attended the Our Health Heroes Awards in London on Tuesday, April 16th. 

Fundraising manager Peter Burch said: “I think being voted as winners by others is the biggest praise that we can get. But we wouldn’t be here today receiving rewards like this without our volunteers and our fabulous team back in Southampton.

“There are so many people experiencing challenging times in their lives and dental pain makes things even more difficult.  We work tirelessly to take a service to them and help people improve their dental health which can have a huge impact on their general wellbeing and confidence.”