Children at Mount Hawke Academy will be smiling brightly thanks to the generosity of local campaigner Chris Hines MBE, co-founder of Surfers Against Sewage and now A Grain of Sand.
Chris is funding Brighter Smiles – Cornwall’s Oral Health Campaign – in his local school which will see over 270 children receive oral health care and education from September 2019.
This commitment sees Chris join a growing group of supporters committed to reversing the continuing trend of preventable tooth extractions from children across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – the number one reason children aged 5-9 years are admitted to hospital for general anaesthetic.
The support from Chris will enable the Brighter Smiles team to set up toothbrushing clubs in the school’s ‘Mousehole’ reception class, apply fluoride varnishing to the teeth of reception and ‘Godrevy’ year 1 pupils, and deliver oral health education to all the school children with home education packs for all.
Catherine Biddick, Head of School at Mount Hawke Academy, part of the Aspire Academy Trust, said “This is tremendous news for the children in our school community and our sincere thanks goes to Chris and the team at Smile Together for making this happen. We look forward to having lots of fun with the Brighter Smiles team whilst learning valuable oral health lessons – such a fantastic opportunity for us all to continue growing together.”
Chris explained: “I have been fortunate to work closely with Smile Together since they set up as an employee-owned social enterprise, including as Chair of their Brighter Smiles Steering Group. This has given me tremendous insight into the shocking scale of the tooth decay problem both in Cornwall and across the country, but as it is preventable I was keen to step forward and enable my local school to benefit from this oral health programme.”
Paul Critchley, managing director at Smile Together, creators of the Brighter Smiles campaign, explained: “This is great news for local children in so many ways apart from improving their oral health. Our programme demonstrates that they will also have improved confidence and self-esteem and be able to concentrate on their learning and development in those crucial early years. We are thrilled to have this additional support from Chris.”
Brighter Smiles is also backed by organisations such as Cornwall Council, Imerys Minerals, Eco-Bos, Ocean Housing, Fuel and ITEC Group UK. In the past 12 months almost 3000 children have benefited from Brighter Smiles from around 70 schools and children’s centres. There are 280 schools in Cornwall so if anyone would like to join Chris in becoming a supporter of Brighter Smiles in their school community please contact firstname.lastname@example.org