NAME OF ORGANISATION: Smile Together
YEAR FOUNDED: 2012
ABOUT: Smile Together uses expert skills to treat children and adults with a range of special care needs alongside oral surgery, children’s orthodontics and treatments under general anaesthetic in a hospital setting. They also see children for free and run dedicated clinics for children in care and those experiencing homelessness.
INVESTMENT PURPOSE: To open a new dental healthcare centre in Bodmin to increase local access to competitively priced and fully accessible dental services for vulnerable people in the community.
INVESTMENT AMOUNT: £1m
DATE OF INVESTMENT: 2018
SOURCE OF INVESTMENT: Direct Deal
IMPACT: Health, Wellbeing & Social Care; Poverty & Disadvantage
ABOUT: Smile Together currently operates across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. They already treat over 40,000 patients per year including more than 4,000 special needs patients each year across the region, twice as many as they are contracted and funded to see. The organisation is also an employee-owned social enterprise; everyone in the team can opt to be a shareholder and thus have a genuine voice in Smile Together’s future. They run the Brighter Smiles campaign, providing practical tooth-brushing clubs, fluoride varnishing and oral health education to around 5,000 children in areas of high decay across Cornish communities. They also run the Smiles at Sea campaign where the specialist team visits harboursides across Cornwall and Devon to provide dental treatments and oral health advice to fishermen who rarely get the chance to visit a dentist due to the demands of their work.
PURPOSE OF INVESTMENT: Refurbishing the building means Smile Together will be able to provide full disabled access with parking directly outside, facilities accessible by all types of wheelchair and including the only bariatric chair in Cornwall, allowing patients who have limitations in health and social care due to physical size, health, mobility and environmental access to be safely treated on the same dental chair as all other patients. There will be a ‘Changing Places’ accessible toilet facility, four well-equipped dental surgeries and waiting areas designed to ensure the comfort of all patients and visitors to the building.
Paul Critchley, Managing Director for Smile Together: “After launching as an employee-owned dental social enterprise and community interest company in 2016, one of the things our team felt passionately about was enhancing our clinical environments and treatment options for patients – to improve our dental services, exceed patient expectations and enable everyone to deliver above and beyond what we’re commissioned and contracted to do. Having bought this wonderful building, we consulted with patients, commissioners and local contractors, and together developed our plans. We are therefore pleased and proud to have secured this investment funding from Big Issue Invest which will help us realise this unique shared vision for dentistry in Cornwall.”
Ben Wrigley, Senior Investment Manager: “It was a great pleasure to advise Smile Together, and work with their professional and committed team. They not only provide high quality NHS dental care, but also the same quality service to those in Cornwall in hard to reach communities that have difficulty accessing treatment, such as fishermen and their families. Tooth decay is the main reason young children are admitted to hospital for extraction under general anaesthetic, which is the motivation for Smile Together’s oral health programme in schools – using education to prevent this happening. The investment from BII will enable them to make a greater impact; delivering care from better clinical facilities and increasing access to dentistry treatment across the whole community in Cornwall.”
Resonance Limited is a company registered in England and Wales no. 04418625
Resonance Impact Investment Limited, a subsidiary of Resonance Limited, is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm number 588462.
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