ITEC Bringing Brighter Smiles for children in West Cornwall

ITEC Bringing Brighter Smiles for children in West Cornwall

15th January 2019

Brighter Smiles, Cornwall’s oral health campaign led by ITEC partner Smile Together, is improving oral health in the remotest parts of the county and encouraging primary school children to clean their teeth.

With a long NHS waiting list, getting to the dentist can be a costly and difficult task for many families, particularly in more rural parts of Cornwall. The Brighter Smiles campaign, supported by ITEC, will help over 500 more Cornish pupils in 2019 improve their oral health and avoid tooth extraction. In Cornwall the highest single cause of hospital admissions for children between the ages of 5-9 is tooth extraction under general anaesthetic.

Landewednack Community Primary School and Grade Ruan CoE Primary School have signed up with Brighter Smiles. An expert team, led by Joanne Trevelyan will bring Dylan the Dragon, a purple plush toy with gleaming teeth, to toothbrushing clubs in Reception classes, and can offer fluoride varnish and home education packs.

Members of ITEC pose with children from Grade Ruan school and head teacher Louise Jones

“We’re so grateful to ITEC for their generous support which will enable the Brighter Smiles programme to make such a positive difference to the oral health of our rural school community, where many families struggle to regularly visit a dentist. I have seen first-hand the difference this programme makes in other schools and have no doubt our pupils will look forward to seeing the team and their dragons, and together with my colleagues, will really engage with the fun oral health activities which fit so well with our school ethos.”

Louise Jones, head teacher of Landewednack and Grade Ruan Schools, both part of the Southerly Point Co-Operative Multi Academy Trust

Brighter Smiles has so far been successful in Cornwall. Bodriggy Academy was one of the original council-funded schools to work with Smile Together and the community interest company now has the funding to extend the dental care to all of the school’s pupils.

“We were delighted to be one of the original Council-funded schools to benefit from Brighter Smiles within our school community, and to know we can now extend its reach to all our pupils and their families is fantastic. We will have even more happy children, learning to succeed!”

Emily Wicks, Teacher and PSHE Coordinator at Bodriggy Academy

Pupils at Bodriggy Primary School posing with staff from ITEC and Smile Together

The campaign is important to ITEC Account Director Kevin Roberts, who has a personal connection to the Brighter Smiles campaign and has witnessed its amazing impact.

“When we began working with Smile Together, and as a parent of a young child myself, I was utterly shocked to discover the scale of this problem. Yet it’s entirely preventable. I am therefore thrilled that our support means so many more children and their families in West Cornwall will benefit from the Brighter Smiles oral health campaign over the next 12 months. Education is a key focus for our business, and we are very proud to work with more than 200 schools across the UK. We are equally proud to be doing our bit to help reverse the continuing trend of avoidable tooth extractions from children here in Cornwall.”

Kevin Roberts, ITEC Account Director in Cornwall

We have worked with Smile Together as their Managed IT Service provider since 2016. As Paul Critchley, Managing Director at Smile Together, explains, our collaboration has been “very successful.”

“When we set up as a community interest company in 2016, we turned to ITEC to support us with our IT requirements. This has proved a very successful collaboration and their financial support for Brighter Smiles demonstrates the true spirit of partnership in the way we both like to do business. There is still a huge amount of work to do in order to reverse this worrying trend. It’s therefore encouraging to see a 149% increase in local children seen by the Brighter Smiles oral health campaign over the last 12 months.”

Paul Critchley, Managing Director, Smile Together

With the Brighter Smiles campaign, Smile Together has helped more than 2,500 children in the most vulnerable areas of the county, and Cornwall Council has extended its contract with Smile Together for another two years.

If anyone would like to support the Brighter Smiles campaign, please contact Smile Together’s Tracy Wilson at tracy.wilson17@nhs.net

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