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  • Rev. Caroline

Valentines Smiles

Thursday 14th February 2019

A joint initiative of Meadowside St Paul’s & St Andrew’s

And the University of Dundee School of Dentistry Toothy Tigers


This is the logo that the Dental Students use

Background


The Courier (19th January) carried a story highlighting the fact that some children in Dundee don’t have their own toothbrush, as revealed to dental students who volunteer with Toothy Tigers to promote oral health to children. Here is the link:

https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/news/local/dundee/810521/deprivation-in-dundee-so-extreme-that-entire-families-are-sharing-one-toothbrush/


This really resonated with me because I remember the shock of my Brownies (when I lived in Fife) when we explained to them that we needed to include a toothbrush in our Blythswood Christmas shoeboxes for Eastern Europe. You can imagine the girls’ reaction to the idea of sharing a toothbrush with e.g. their brother!!


So I contacted the Courier journalist (Jake Keith) who put me in touch with someone at the School of Dentistry. We emailed back and forward and I told him that I liked the idea of our two congregations donating toothbrushes and toothpaste to be given out on Valentine’s Day, with its connotations of smiling and fresh breath, not to mention love!


It looked as if nothing would happen in time, but then I received an email on Monday of this week suggesting a meeting with some of the students that evening. This was very productive and we went our separate ways with the bare bones of a plan in place.


What was proposed at the meeting


· Use Meadowside St Paul’s – as it’s only 5 minutes’ walk from the Dental School

· 2 sessions: lunchtime 12.30-2.00 and after school 3.30-5.00

· Toothy Tigers would come and do their stuff, engaging children in a fun way about how to look after their teeth

· Members of the two congregations would supply toothbrushes and toothpaste to give to those who need them

· A few people needed for each session to welcome folk, give out the goodies, and offer tea, coffee and juice



I’m off to Tesco and Boots tomorrow – the stores I pass on my walk between the two churches – to ask whether they might donate some toothbrushes and/or toothpaste to help us …

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