Here at Well Connected we are experts in the design and delivery of creative and engaging health improvement programmes which address inequalities & gaps in service provision
Here are some examples
Well Connected and Ruth Potterton, Lecturer in Community Based Dentistry at the University of Plymouth Peninsula Dental School have been successfully awarded a grant of £1,500 to work in partnership with local organisations to develop teams of children as ‘Dental Buddies’, who will learn about their own oral health and how this impacts on general health, esteem and self-confidence. The Dental Buddies will champion oral health within their setting, at school and at home.
This was a community service grant received from the British Society of Dental Hygiene & Therapy (BSDHT) in collaboration with the Wrigley Company Foundation for use to promote oral health within their communities.
The children from Brownie groups and a local charity, who provide respite holidays for disadvantaged children, will take part in the project with the aim of improving knowledge and oral health. The workshops will be a fun and creative way of introducing children to key oral health messages and encourage them to investigate, discover and create!
The Dental Buddies programme will have a long lasting legacy, as the children will share their knowledge with others as well as building a deeper understanding of practical core skills, which last a lifetime and enhance future wellbeing.
The Well Connected charity working closely with Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise are keen to see how this project can be developed in the future and expanded to other groups within the region.
The team feel it is fantastic to have been successful with the application and are delighted with the response from the organisations with whom we are working with to deliver ‘Dental Buddies – one step beyond’.
Teamwork is vitally important to us and this is a brilliant opportunity to work with colleagues across the dental team and local community to improve knowledge and oral health.
The Dental Ambassador programme provides training to people with a learning disability which enables them to share key oral health messages with others: in educational and residential settings, workplaces, advocacy groups as well as with family and friends.
We have delivered this programme in various locations across the Peninsula and most recently to a group of 8 young people who attend the LifeWorks College in Dartington, a fantastic place – take a look! https://www.lifeworks-uk.org/our-services/further-education/
The 6 week project covered different aspects of oral health with a special emphasis on the key oral health messages.
Participants built their knowledge each week and created an individual portfolio which reflected them and their personal likes and dislikes. This person centred approach ensured the whole group was involved and motivated to learn more. Every session was fun, lively and interactive!
The topics covered included:
> Why teeth are important
> Better brushing
> Diet and making simple swaps
> Impact of sugar and oral health
We developed games and activities which helped to consolidate learning, such as oral health pairs, talking tiles, individual eat well plate and much more.
We are extremely proud of the project and believe the comments received from the staff demonstrate the effectiveness and impact the project has had:
> The sessions were really impressive; you could tell a great deal of thought had been given to the style and pace
> The tutors were fun, smiley and built great relationships with the whole group
> The resources were excellent, images and props were very useful
The Dental Ambassador programme delivers a sustainable peer led project for adults and young people with learning disability and to empower them to share information with others; for example, at home with parents and siblings, in the work place, in school or college as well as with other local disability organisations as well as developing further understanding of improving their own oral health.
There are estimated to be 1 million adults registered with a disability in the UK with only a small proportion (around 20%) known to disability services. While high quality treatment services are available in the UK, there is a lack of specific resource for community-based oral health improvement. Working in partnership and developing a person centred approach to delivering health based initiatives has far reaching impacts for communities, organisations and individuals.
For more details about the programme please contact us; or feel free to watch the video below!
Open Wide and Step Inside
Well Connected and the Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC (PDSE) have launched an exciting new animated video and classroom resource to encourage children to look after their teeth. ‘Open Wide and Step Inside’ features a range of characters, with the central character, Geoffrey the Giant experiencing toothache but resisting a visit to see Daisy the Dentist.
The Open Wide and Step Inside programme previously launched in 2013 and was screened at Plymouth University’s i-DAT – over 3,000 local school children aged between 5 and 7 years old saw the first film. This 2018 animated version, created by Estover-based creative company, The Moment, can now be delivered in the classroom setting and continues to be supported by The Wrigley Company Foundation who generously funded the original project.
Robert Witton, Director of Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC says “Open Wide and Step Inside’ is a really exciting project that is delivering oral health education in a different and creative way using a cartoon animation and a cast of fun characters to engage children about oral health prevention advice.
An important part of the programme is to support teachers to deliver key oral health messages throughout the year as part of the Key Stage 1 curriculum using specially designed teacher resources from the animation, making sure children get the best advice about looking after their own teeth for life as part of their early years education”.
Oral health and well-being impacts on many aspects of general health and establishing good oral health routines in childhood has long lasting benefits. Problems with oral health, dental disease and decay are the most common reason for hospital admission for children.
Annually £35 million is spent by the NHS on admissions for children under 18 for tooth extraction under general anaesthetic.
Wendy Smith MBE Strategic Lead for Community Engagement at Well Connected added “We are delighted that we are launching the ‘Open Wide and Step Inside’ programme once again with the very kind support from the Wrigley Company Foundation. This new animation enables us to take ‘theatre into the classroom’ to create an exciting, interactive experience for children across the city. A bespoke two-minute brushing song has been written especially for us by colleagues at Plymouth Music Zone which is great as it is memorable and catchy.
I am particularly proud that we are providing a range of supporting material which will help teachers in the classroom setting, and children also get a goody bag which helps them to share the messages of good oral health at home.”
Matt Cole, Executive Creative Director from The Moment added “Children’s entertainment is increasingly varied and sophisticated so when creating content for a young audience with such an important message the team really had to lean on their heritage as multi-platform storytellers. Thankfully we had a very collaborative client in the Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise and Well Connected teams, who really pushed us to make ‘Open Wide and Step Inside’ as entertaining as possible. We’re all really proud of the results.”
‘Fenella’ (the fairy Godmother of tooth fairies), a highly valued member of the Well Connected team, is currently visiting a number of local primary schools to deliver the project and take children on a journey through the land of Toothypeg to deliver important oral health care messages.
Take a look at this!
Supervised Brushing Clubs
Imagine a world without smiles…..
Establishing oral hygiene routines should start when a baby’s first tooth comes through. Sadly, for many children, brushing twice a day for 2 minutes is not a daily routine; together with high sugar diets this often results in painful toothache, tooth decay and ultimately having teeth removed in hospital.
To help reduce the shocking number of children who attend Derriford Hospital each year we have created brushing clubs in schools so children can have at least one effective tooth brushing session a day. Children enjoy finding out more about their teeth and they also encourage others to brush too.
We can help you to establish a tooth brushing club in your school, nursery or childrens centre. We will provide training, resources, procedures and protocols to ensure your club is meaningful, effective and fun.
Have a look at this or contact us for more information!
The Well Connected team partners with local charity Millfields Inspired to deliver a pioneering tooth brushing programme.
Funded by the Drake Foundation, the groundbreaking oral health project involves the Well Connected team setting up tooth brushing clubs with seven Stonehouse primary schools.
The programme trains school staff and teaches children to brush their teeth effectively as part of a daily routine. It also encourages them to share their knowledge and to actively promote good oral health and positive diet and nutrition choices with their peers, the wider school community and family and friends.
Working with the established and well respected charity, “Active Plus”, we deliver ‘dental champions’ training to small groups of older people in Cornwall. This training provides them with guidance, information and support regarding their own oral well-being and encourages them to share this new found knowledge with friends, family members, neighbours etc. Using the ‘share and tell’ approach to pass on key oral health messages in this way has had a big impact on individuals as they feel more empowered, better informed and more likely to seek dental care.
The groups are mentored by ex-military veterans who are employed by Active Plus, they use their experience and skills to support participants, in building their confidence and self-esteem and encourage them to use their many and varied skills to support community initiatives.
To date we have delivered 3 pilot projects in Falmouth, St Austell and Redruth.
CHICKS Oral Health Workshops
We work closely with the Country Holidays for Inner City Kids (CHICKS) charity to deliver oral health workshops using a range of fun activities which develop oral health awareness; this is achieved as a result of our partnership with The Wrigley Company Ltd
We are delighted that we were successful with a bid to the North Yard Community Trust to help raise the profile of oral health in the Barne Barton, Keyham, Kings Tamerton, St Budeaux and Weston Mill areas. Early years venues in each area, will benefit from a ‘Creating Smiles’ box.
Each box contains fun and colourful resources which support and promote oral health; this includes amongst other things a puppet, giant teeth, jigsaw puzzle. Staff are delighted to receive the resources along with some ideas and guidance about including oral health in themes and activities.
A colleague from Tamar Folk Children Centre said “these resources will be really appealing to our families and will help us to share important oral health messages with parents.”