Poole fishermen receive free dental care

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Fishermen in Poole have been provided with dental care free of charge as part of a new project run by Dentaid in partnership with the Seafarers’ Hospital Society and the Fishermen’s Mission.

Fishermen often find it difficult to see a dentist due to the hours they work, but a mobile unit located at Quayside is helping to change this. Pete Williams, one of the clinic’s first patients, said that he hadn’t seen a dentist since he was 12 years old. Pete had become increasingly self-conscious about the appearance of his teeth, but struggled to find time to see a dentist, as he works 18 hour days on a regular basis. Seeing a dentist at a more sociable time of day would mean that Pete had to give up a day on the water, which he cannot afford to do.

The unit, which was stationed on the waterfront in July, made it possible for fishermen like Pete to access the treatment they need, and he described the programme as “brilliant.” Pete was one of the eight fishermen to receive treatment on the day, and there are plans for the unit to return to the area in the coming weeks.

Nick O’Neill, south coast superintendent at Fishermen’s Mission, said that the organisation is “committed to improving the welfare” of fishermen and the new dental service enables those working at sea to receive the care they need. Accessing health services has been highlighted as a problem within the community, and the Dentaid-run project is a major step forward for those based in and around Poole.

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