Posted on October 9, 2010

Unity Partnership for UK Dentistry

Bridge2Aid launches new Unity Partnership for UK Dentistry

Bridge2Aid, the dental charity, are pleased to announce the launch of an exciting new partnership for dental practices and businesses at the BDTA Showcase next month.  The new ‘Unity Partnership’ will bring tangible benefits for practices who join, as well as supporting Bridge2Aid’s vital work in East Africa.

Businesses now recognise that they are not only judged on service and financial performance but increasingly on their values and social responsibility and the dental profession is no different.  Patients are now more likely to choose a dental provider on factors such as quality of care, empowering people and making a real difference in the world and communities around them, just as much as on availability, location or price.

One strand of Bridge2Aid’s work is the Dental Volunteer Programme; a scheme which involves UK dentists visiting the country and training local Clinical Officers in emergency dentistry. The Clinical officers go on to provide emergency pain relief for their local community where so far efforts have increased access to emergency dentistry for over 1.3 million people.

The concept of the Unity Partnership, currently being launched by Bridge2Aid, is based upon the realisation that significant benefits, in terms of public profile and perception, will accrue to those dentists and dental practices involved in the Dental Volunteer Programme. The Unity Partnership will involve a limited number of practices recognised by the charity for their support of the training of an individual clinical Officer in Tanzania.

Involvement in the Partnership is recognised through use of the Bridge2Aid logo and branding on marketing communications, a plaque to be displayed on the partner’s premises and support with the PR opportunities which stem from being linked with the Programme. The Partners will receive regular updates on the progress of the Clinical Officer they support and the community in which they work, as well as professional advice and help with their own fundraising efforts.

In order to preserve the value of the Unity Partnership, and in order to ensure that the dental practices involved accrue significant benefits from their involvement, the number of Partners will be limited to just 48 in 2011. The limited number of dental practices qualifying for Partnership status ensures that existing and potential clients of each practice can be confident about the values being displayed by their dentist.  The first training programmes supported by Partners will take place in January 2011.

The Dental Volunteer Programme is a unique, well-established ten day programme during which volunteer UK dentists work on a one-to-one basis with a Tanzanian Clinical Officer delivering an effective proven programme of training in emergency dentistry. The Clinical Officers are then equipped with instrumentation and sterilisation equipment by Bridge2Aid, and supervised by a government District Dental Officer.

In order to be recognised as a Unity Partner, dental practices commit to the financial support of the training of a Clinical Officer; an initial investment of £2,500 followed by an annual contribution of £250 for three years. This investment covers the cost of training and equipping a Clinical Officer to serve a community of around 10,000 people and the ongoing supervision of their work.

Mark Topley, Bridge2Aid’s CEO said:

‘We are very excited about the potential benefits the Unity Partnership can bring to all concerned. Many of our dental supporters have already testified to the rewards they have gained from working with us; for them personally, for their team building and their business. The Unity Partnership further recognises that commitment by partners who choose to support the training of a clinical officer. The partnership will enable us to secure training for the communities in the region that we plan to serve in 2011, and extend B2A’s work to many more communities in Tanzania.’

More details and the founder members will be announced at a launch press conference At Bridge2Aid/A-dec’s stand Q04, 11am on Friday 15th October at London Dental Showcase Excel.

Editors Notes

Bridge2Aid (B2A) is a dental and community development charity working in the Mwanza region of North West Tanzania. We started full scale operations in 2004 and work closely with the Tanzanian Government to deliver aspects of their dental strategy. We operate a not-for-profit dental clinic in the city of Mwanza (Hope Dental Centre), and have a community development programme for the disabled community based at Bukumbi Care Centre.

Our focus is sustainability – empowering local people to improve their own lives over the long-term. We have Trustees and administration in the UK and we are a UK registered charity no. 1092481. Bridge2Aid is a registered Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Tanzania with additional Tanzania-based Advisors.

The four key aspects of Bridge2Aid’s vision are:

– To provide primary dental care and oral health education to communities in Tanzania

– To equip and further train local health personnel to provide emergency dentistry to rural communities

– To care for and empower the poor and marginalised in Tanzanian society

– To provide opportunities for UK dental professionals and others to use their skills to serve Tanzania, as locums or participants on the Dental Volunteer Programme (DVP).

Further information/pictures/comment available from:

Mark Topley, B2A Chief Exec 0845 0047559,

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