The Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE) has been named among the finalists in the UK Social Enterprise Awards.
The shortlisting in the ‘Community-Based Social Enterprise’ category is the latest success for the organisation and further evidence of its status as one of the country’s most innovative and impactful businesses.
PDSE was established by the University of Plymouth in 2013, and now operates out of four dental education facilities – two in Plymouth, and one each in Exeter and Truro.
It has invested more than £2.5m into supporting the most vulnerable people in the region while offering ‘real world’ training to students from the University, who will become the next generation of dental professionals.
Over the past year, PDSE has eased the pain of 5,047 local people, put smiles on the faces of 79 refugees and asylum seekers, provided oral health education for thousands of local children in 146 schools, and influenced 81 new graduates to become socially responsible dental professionals.
Robert Witton, professor of Community Dentistry, said, “I’m very proud that our impact has been recognised again at a national level at a time when dentistry is in a state of crisis. Our focus is on improving the oral health of our community, keeping people out of hospital and reducing the burden on the NHS budget. I’d like to thank the whole team at PDSE and the University of Plymouth for their commitment and professionalism, which has captured the attention of the judges.”
The awards are run by Social Enterprise UK, the leading membership body for social enterprises. There are more than 100,000 social enterprises in the UK, employing around two million people and contributing £60bn to the national economy each year – while also tackling some of the biggest challenges facing people and the planet.
This year’s awards attracted more than 400 entries from all over the country, and staff from PDSE will join other finalists and VIP guests at an awards ceremony in November.
Peter Holbrook CBE, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, said, “Our awards are the ultimate showcase of the impact and excellence of social enterprises. Those who made the shortlist are a beacon of innovation, optimism and resilience in turbulent times. These are trailblazers and standard-setters for better business, making a profit but not putting it before people and the planet. The challenges we face as a society demand new approaches and a shift in how businesses – big and small – act. Social enterprises celebrated at our awards are the brightest stars in a brilliant sector, giving us all inspiration and motivation to do business better.”