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Graham – volunteer dentist

I have been a dentist for over 40 years having qualified from Guy’s in December ’80. After associate jobs I ran a practice in Horsham for 30+ years.

When I sold the practice and had more spare time I looked to do some volunteering so I phoned Dentaid to see if they had any trips available. They didn’t but (then overseas co-ordinator) Barbara mentioned going to Uganda to work with and mentor a Ugandan dentist. I agreed and so we started getting it organised. ‘Out of interest’ I asked, ‘how many of these have you run?’. ‘Oh, you’re the first’ was the reply. The trip was amazing and I was fortunate enough to meet and work with a Ugandan called Leonard and spend time with his family. As well as working in his clinic we did rural outreach trips where I learnt from Leonard how to provide basic dentistry with very limited resources. I have also been to Cambodia on a Dentaid trip and to India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Ethiopia with Hand of Hope.

 

I had covered as a locum at a local surgery and kept in touch with a dental nurse called Louise. She informed me she was volunteering at a mobile clinic in Worthing. I made further enquiries and having chatted to Emma at Dentaid, signed up. As well as the clinics at Worthing in partnership with Turning Tides for people experiencing homelessness, I have also helped on clinics in the Crawley/Gatwick area for refugees and asylum seekers (mainly Afghans).

I have worked alongside wonderful people and helping on these clinics has been an amazing blessing. I would recommend anyone to offer some time, it really is a fantastic opportunity.

To find out more about volunteering in the UK – www.dentaid.org/volunteer-in-the-uk/

To read more blogs – www.dentaid.org/category/uk-blogs/