Cabinet minister heaps praise on University of Plymouth staff and students providing free dental care for the homeless

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Cabinet minister James Cleverly has heaped praise on staff and students from the University of Plymouth and Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise. The collective has been working to provide homeless people in the city with access to free dental treatment. 

Mr Cleverly visited the university’s Devonport Dental Education Facility recently alongside Conservative local councillor, Rebecca Smith, and he was incredibly impressed with the work undertaken by the enterprise. While touring the dental school, Mr Cleverly was shown the facilities and informed of the projects currently being undertaken by staff and students. Community engagement plays a crucial role in the success of the social enterprise, and the weekly drop-in clinic has proven hugely popular. 

The facility is one of four dotted across Devon and Cornwall. These centres enable students from Peninsula Dental School to gain valuable practical and communication skills, at the same time as providing access to affordable dental care, often for vulnerable groups, such as homeless people. 

Feedback from patients who have attended the community clinics has been incredibly positive, especially among homeless patients, who don’t have access to routine dental care. Many have said that visiting the facility has changed their lives for the better, enabling them to access pain relief and also to have treatment to increase confidence and self-esteem. 

Mr Cleverly described the university’s work with homeless populations as “inspirational.”

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