New Trustees to help with our vision

Dr Richard Graham, Patron, welcomed the attendees and presided over the BDA Benevolent Fund’s 141st AGM, held virtually on 27th June.

The first co-chair’s report.

This was the first AGM in the Charity’s history where the report was delivered by two people sharing the Co-chair role.

Dr Molly Deykin and Dr Shafaq Hussain started the report by thanking the outgoing Chairman, Dr Ros Keeton for all her previous years’ hard work, congratulating her on receiving the BDA Fellowship medal.

Thanks and goodbye were also extended to Dr Bill Creedon, leaving his role as Trustee in the autumn of 2023, and Ms Julie Chisholm, who served as co-opted Trustee from January to May 2024.

Key activities

2023 was the year the Charity started to celebrate its 140th birthday. Activities included discussions on the future of dentistry, and a history of the Charity written in four parts by Dr Hellyer and Dr Ulahannan, published in the BDJ.

“We are so grateful to Dr Hellyer and Dr Ulahannan, for their comprehensive work and historical research. We encourage everyone who wants to find out more to read through the exciting four part series which spans the Charity’s inception right through to post war and modern day. Let us know what facts surprise you the most.”

Dr Shafaq Ali, Co-Chair

Following a tender exercise, the Charity appointed new auditors A C Mole LLP, charity sector specialists.


There were 177 applications for financial assistance. The most common reason for applying was hardship at university, as was the case in the previous year. Applications were received from refugees and asylum seeker dentists, after the remit was expanded to include this group at last year’s AGM in July 2023.

Help Spread the Word

Dr Shafaq Ali reported that at their most recent strategy day, the Trustees agreed on the vision statement of “No Dentist in Hardship.”

The Co-chairs joined together and asked everyone to help spread the word about the work of the Charity.

We’re here to help but can only do that if people know we exist.

We particularly need help to reach out to dental students and younger dentists and want everyone to help us ensure there is No Dentist in Hardship.”

The Co-chair report ended by thanking Dr Austin Banner, Vice-Chairman, and Dr Chris Hayward, Treasurer, for their many years of service to the Charity and dentistry profession, as they retired.

Improved financial position

Dr Chris Hayward presented his last Treasurer’s report, taking attendees through the 2023 Annual Report and Accounts for a complete view of the Charity’s activities and finances.

The main point of note was that income increased in value from the previous year thanks to favourable stock market. LDCs continued to be the strongest sources of voluntary income and Chris expressed his gratitude for their continued support.

Donations from BDA Branches and Sections increased slightly and showed some recovery after being affected by the pandemic years and the consequent reduction in face-to-face event activity.

Dr Hayward informed the members the auditors had highlighted a historic issue relating to how the profit and loss were accounted for between the endowment and the unrestricted reserves. This was noted in the Annual Report and Accounts and they would be working with the auditors to get approval from the Charity Commission and ensure the accounts were accurate for 2024.


The Charity voted electronically to elect Dr Jacqui Frederick, onto the board after her time as a Co-opted Trustee from December 2023. The members voted for three more Trustees out of a possible 5 up for election.

The candidates elected to the Board were:

  • Dr John Ulahannan
  • Ms Hira Chaudhry
  • Dr Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen

Dr Ros Keeton was nominated by the Board to be a Vice President, unanimously approved by the members.

Closing remarks

Dr Austin Banner thanked Laura Hannon, CEO, and Faye Serlin, Administrator, for the tremendous work they do for beneficiaries, the Trustee Board, and the Charity as a whole.

The date of the next AGM is Thursday 26th June 2025.

If you’d like to support us you can make a donation here

BDA Northern Ireland Branch book fundraiser

(l-r) Gerry McKenna (BDA Northern Ireland Branch President), Richard Graham (BDA President) with Laura Hannon (BDA Benevolent Fund CEO) and Derek Manson (BDA Benevolent Fund Trustee)

The Northern Ireland Branch of the British Dental Association has always been an enthusiastic supporter of the Charity and in 2023 the Branch celebrated its centenary, in style, with a Centenary Ball in Belfast City Hall. As part of the centenary celebrations the BDA President, Richard Graham, wrote a book:

‘A History of the Northern Ireland Branch of the British Dental Association.’

The Northern Ireland Branch generously paid for the printing and publishing costs of 500 copies each retailing at £50. £25, from each copy sold, will be donated to the BDA Benevolent Fund, with the remainder covering production.

25% of the stock has already been sold and the Northern Ireland Branch has kindly donated profits totalling £3,125 to the BDA Benevolent Fund.

If you wish to purchase the book please contact [email protected] and we will put you in touch with Richard Graham. The costs are £50 (plus £7.50 postage and packing).

You will be supporting us and helping the BDA President to make room in his garage!

We would like to say many thanks to Richard for a wonderful piece of work and your generous fundraising efforts.

2024 AGM Notice

You are invited to attend the BDA Benevolent Fund’s 141st Annual General Meeting (AGM).

The AGM will take place virtually via Zoom on Thursday 27th June at 5.30pm. Register to attend using the link below. Please register your attendance by 4pm on Wednesday 26 June 2024 so we can ensure that the meeting is quorate (valid) and accommodate everyone accordingly.

The meeting is an opportunity to see what the Charity has achieved in the last financial year and how your vital support has been to those in the dental community.


  • Welcome and introduction from our Patron – Dr Richard Graham
  • Apologies
  • Minutes of the last AGM – held on 4 July 2023
  • Matters arising from the last AGM
  • Co-Chair’s Report
  • Receipt of the Annual Report and Accounts for 2023 and report from the Treasurer
  • Election of Co-opted Trustee – Dr Jacqui Frederick
  • Election of 3 new Trustees
  • Any other business

You can access the papers using the links below:

Proxy Voting

As a Charity member, you are entitled to appoint a proxy to exercise all or any of your rights to attend, speak, and vote at the AGM. If a representative cannot participate at the AGM in person you may send your proxy form to arrive no less than 24 hours before the meeting.

We will be taking questions in advance and on the day. If you wish to send in your apologies, please email us.

We look forward to seeing you.

Introducing Wisdom – the new free portal for your wellbeing

Wisdom is the new service offered by our partners at Health Assured. Replacing their previous version – My Healthy Advantage, the new revitilised system has an advanced set of tools and features.

The new features were designed to improve your mental and physical health by using personal metrics to set goals and achievements. Read our top 10 things to know about the new app and online portal.

  1. How easy it is to set up

To access the resources you’ll need to create an account. The organisational code is MHA141171. enabling you to access the resources under the BDA Benevolent Fund’s package. Simply follow the link below, enter the code, then your email address and create a password on the Wisdom app or website. You’re all good to go!

2. How quickly you get into the habit of using it

Through the app you can log your mood, activities, and progress each day, at work at home or on the go so it learns more about what resources you will find useful and is a mini health check.

3. The wealth of resources to choose from

From articles, podcasts, yoga, guided meditations, to student advice and men’s health, there’s so much beneficial content available on Wisdom. There’s something for everyone, and so many topical preferences to select from that you can manage in the app. Pick the content you want to see.

4. How much water you should be drinking!

Wisdom’s health trackers and 4 week plans all aim to encourage gradual positive changes to your everyday life. They raise interesting lessons like just how much water you really should be drinking! What else can you look to improve in your daily life?

5. Mental activity is just as valued as physical activity

Wisdom lets you track your activity, recommending 30 minutes a day embracing mental activity, including things like baking, gaming, journaling, and meditation.

6. How many ways there are to breathe

Sounds crazy, right? But Wisdom has three completely different breathing exercises, whether you want the classic approach, need to refocus, or want to calm down at the start or end of the day. Each can be changed to last for as little as a minute to as long as half an hour!

7. Leaderboards!

You can create and share Leaderboard challenges with friends or colleagues on the Wisdom portal. Create a leaderboard to track steps, water, or general activity, and see who is in the number one spot at the end of a week, a month, 3 months, or 6 months!

8. Live chat and video calls with counsellors

Users can access live chats or video calls with Health Assured counsellors. Sometimes one or both options are greyed out, but if you wait for a moment you’ll find they free up very quickly. In the meantime, users can request contact at a later date or call the 24/7 helpline.

9. The accessibility settings

The sheer amount of accessibility options for the Wisdom portal will surprise and amaze you! The portal is truly inclusive and designed to be used by everyone, with settings for everything from blindness, to epilepsy, to ADHD.

10. Recipes!

Yes, you heard right – the Wisdom portal has recipes on it! They might be the last thing you expected to find there. They all look very healthy, very yummy, and cover breakfast, lunch, dinner, and naughty snacks! So if good nutritious food is your thing, get searching the very latest recipes for cooking inspiration.

There is so much more to the Wisdom portal than simply tracking your health. It encourages positive changes in behaviour and gives simple, actionable advice. It’s quick, easy, and free to make an account, so it’s well worth signing up for and downloading the app!

Get started today and get in touch to let us know how it’s making a difference.

Write your Will in Free Wills Month

Did you know around 61% of British adults – roughly 30 million people in the UK don’t have a Will? It is something many of us put off for reasons including

  • Nothing worth inheriting (38%)
  • Hadn’t considered writing a Will (20%)
  • Too busy to write a Will (16%)

It can be easier than you think. Take a look at the video to see what’s involved.

“Thank you for giving me the push I needed to finally write my Will”

To widen our fundraising approach and to promote good financial planning we are covering the costs of a limited number of Wills, especially for our supporters through our partnership with Farewill during Free Wills Month. As an incentive, if you choose to complete your Will with Farewill through our links in March, you could save up to *£380.

There’s no obligation to leave a gift to us when using our offer. However, we ask that once you’ve taken care of those closest to you, you leave us a gift making a difference to the dental community, even if it’s just the price of the Will.

The team at Farewill can help you write, or amend your Will, in under half an hour, with expert checking, to ensure your wishes are clear. The team is also available six days a week should you need them. You can write your Will online or over the phone. Simply go to our Will Writing Guide page to discover more and get started.

A gift in your Will costs you nothing now but can make a difference for years to come.

*RRP is the cost of a joint Will over the phone.