Abigail Goodyear is head dental nurse at Beacon Dental Care in Hereford and fundraising officer with the charity, Dental Mavericks. Here, she talks about what you can do to help amid a crisis...

I have been a dental nurse for five years – from the beginning, I have been passionate about taking my career further with courses and getting involved with voluntary work.

Five years on, I am now a fully qualified, radiograph-taking, fluoride-painting, sign language-practising lead dental nurse who volunteers as a fundraising officer for Dental Mavericks outside of my working life.

I took on my role with Dental Mavericks after searching for opportunities that would coincide with my busy lifestyle.

I knew of the charity through friends and colleagues who had been on the volunteering programme – all of whom expressed how rewarding and life-changing the experience it was.

The work of Dental Mavericks is based in and around Morocco and Lebanon, supporting vulnerable communities since 2010.

Our work is centred on outreach work in community centres, local dispensaries, schools and informal education centres.

What I admire about Dental Mavericks is their passion to improve and promote continuous oral hygiene education and practice year on year.

In the face of COVID-19, any volunteer outreach projects for 2020 have been postponed and the impact of this has meant the beneficiaries we support have not received any dental care for at least four months now.

Additionally, in Lebanon the ongoing economic crisis – exacerbated due to the coronavirus outbreak and now the Beirut explosion – means an even further rise in hunger and poverty, and critical need for aid.

Our response has been to donate dental materials and PPE to a local non-profit organisation in Lebanon.

These were used as protective supplies for staff running COVID-19 awareness campaigns in refugee camps and for emergency dental treatments within their clinic.

Alongside this, we have started an emergency donation fundraising page to fund an emergency medical clinic with our partners for those injured and in need of aid in Beirut.

All money raised will be sent to Lebanon to fund an emergency medical clinic with our partners through safe channels.

The donations will be given direct to beneficiaries by our field coordinator in Lebanon.

In times of COVID-19, we now need to turn our attention to fundraising and raising our profile. It is important that our beneficiaries continue to receive funding in order to continue their work with the community while we are unable to run our volunteer outreach programmes of which most of our funding comes from.

We would love you to visit our website and really get to know us and hopefully inspire you to get involved – either in one of our fundraising events, by signing up to volunteer trips for 2021 or donating to our cause.

If you want to volunteer, go to www.dentalmavericks.org/contact-us/.