Happy Teeth Outreach nominated for diversity award
A former University of Leeds dentistry student's project to help improve the dental health of children at special schools across Leeds has been shortlisted for a National Diversity Award.
Community dentist Linzi-Maybin's Happy Teeth Outreach is shortlisted in the Community Organisation Award For Disability section of the awards.
Happy Teeth Outreach was set up in Oct 2019 and has previously won the BSPD outstanding innovation award in May 2020.
Linzi said she started the Happy Teeth Outreach project last October because she is passionate about caring for patients who cannot always communicate that they have a dental problem
It has now been shortlisted out of 64,000 UK nominations and votes for the National Diversity Award here's a link: https://nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/64000-nominations-votes-the-national-diversity-awards-announce-2020-shortlist/ . The National Diversity Awards is an awards ceremony which honours positive role models, and community organisations across several different strands within the equality and diversity sector.
Happy Teeth Outreach is a voluntary non-profitable organisation. It campaigns for better dental health for young people with disabilities and young people living in the UK affected by human trafficking and the refugee crisis. It provides several dental-based social inclusion initiatives that serve to engage children with learning disabilities, autism, physical disabilities, hearing and visual impairments, improving these children’s oral health helps to enhance their overall quality of life.
This organisation works within some of West Yorkshire’s most deprived communities, which has shown them that many children with disabilities have their oral health overlooked. In just 10 months, Happy Teeth has provided over 600 children with fun interactive lessons, toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental checks in their school. It can be challenging for some anxious children to attend the dentist so this project brings the dentist and the education into their normal school environment and makes it an enjoyable experience.
Young dentists volunteer their time to be involved with the project. It allows them the opportunity to learn how to engage with young people with additional needs which improves their skill set.
The future plan is to train therapists and dental nurses to be able to provide education to the teachers and parents.
Linzi said: ‘It can be challenging for some anxious children to attend the dentist therefore this project brings the dentist and the education into their normal school environment and makes it an enjoyable experience. I am extremely proud that we have been shortlisted for the National Diversity Award.
‘It is great recognition for the incredible work which the volunteer dentists have been responsible for over the past ten months. To be shortlisted is truly incredible.'
Author: Julie Bissett