Join our Board of Trustees

For 140 years we have worked passionately to support dental students, dentists, and their families throughout the UK. Receiving over 160 applications in 2022, we provide grant funding and wellbeing services to those facing difficult situations.

We are looking for two Trustees to be co-opted (appointed immediately) to join the Board and stand for election by the members at the Annual General Meeting in June 2024.  As a Trustee, you can make a real difference through your involvement and applying your knowledge to support and develop our work.

After undertaking an analysis of the current Board, we have identified specific characteristics or experiences we are looking for to enhance those offered by the existing Trustees. We are also aiming to improve the Board’s diversity to better reflect society, our applicants, and the dental community.

We particularly welcome interest and applications from…

  • the global majority
  • dental students
  • people with disabilities
  • LGBTQ+ people
  • non-dentists

We would welcome those residing/working in Scotland and/ or Wales and those with expertise in finance or fundraising.

This could be your first Trustee role, or you could already have some experience as a Trustee. We have a full induction process and ongoing training to support you. You will have the opportunity to make a difference in the dental community as well as develop or enhance your skills and knowledge of the charity sector.

Trustee positions are voluntary, but we don’t expect you to be out of pocket for carrying out your role, so expenses for travel, etc. are paid in accordance with our Expenses Policy.

The deadline for applying is 5 pm on Friday 27 October 2023. Candidates will be shortlisted and if successful, invited to attend an interview on 14 November 2023.

Should you require further information or would like to chat about the role, please contact us.

For further information about the BDA Benevolent Fund

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We look forward to hearing from you.

Panel discussion – ‘The Future of Dentistry’

We hosted a panel discussion on Tuesday 4 July 2023 in London as part of our 140th birthday celebrations following the AGM. The aim was for the Board and the audience to consider how the dental profession will evolve and look forward to the impact this may have on the organisation, its applicants, and its funding in the future.

The discussion was chaired by Dr. John Milne, Patron of the BDA Benevolent Fund. The panelists were Dr. Shawn Charlwood, Chair of GDPC, Dr. Jasneet Gulati, host of Protrusive Dental Podcast, Dr. Ola Hassan, a GDP and Trustee of UK and US-based charity Health-Point Foundation, and Dr. Gina Vega, Principal Dentist at Bishopsgate Dental and one of the BACD Board of Directors.

The discussion ranged from topics looking at the impact of AI and new technologies, the influence of the NHS, and the implications these could have on dental professionals, their wellbeing, and the ability to care for vulnerable patients. It was a lot to cover in just one hour and there was great audience participation.

What implications might the changes in dentistry mean for those who seek assistance from the Benevolent Fund and those that support it through donating and fundraising?

The BDA Benevolent Fund has been supporting dentists for 140 years and has only slightly changed over that time. The final question for the panel considered how it can stay relevant for the next century considering these changes and if it would still be needed.

There was a concern amongst the panelists about whether enough of the profession would still be contributing to the Charity in the future.

There will still be a need, but will it still be here?

It was noted BDA Branches and Sections seem less active and younger people are typically not as involved with the Charity as previous generations which has already had an implication on donations received. Without support from the profession, the Charity is at risk.

There were many contributions from the floor about the continued demand for services and how it might support the profession in the future. This included not just financial support but also perhaps mentorship and increasing support to improve the mental health of dentists in the UK.

It was felt there is a lack of awareness of the Charity and that it should continue to work in partnership with other organisations to raise its profile amongst dental students, dentists, and their families.

Attendees commented that they were delighted to see such expertise and diversity on the panel which added to the depth of discussion. A cake was shared to mark the special day.

We welcome your thoughts about how best to promote the BDA Benevolent Fund so that everyone knows where to come in their time of need.

Seasons Greetings

This year for our Christmas appeal, we thought we’d do something different. We thought we would outline our impact – how we’ve helped dental students, dentists, and their families – and let you know what we have been up to throughout 2021. 

Our #SharingIsCaring campaign has a collection of 12 days of Christmas videos with each day highlighting the different types of support we’ve offered or initiatives we’ve undertaken.

At the end of each video, our plea is the same – to share the messaging throughout the dental community to reach as many people as possible.

“One of our biggest challenges, is reaching all sections of the dental community who are entitled to our support,” explained Laura Hannon, General Manager. “And family members who are direct dependents of dentists can also access the services. Social media gives us the best chance of reaching that audience.”

If you haven’t seen the campaign, watch all the videos on our YouTube page or the final compilation video here.

Word of mouth is one of our biggest sources of applicants so it really does make a difference. Forward this news page on, or comment, like, and interact with our social media activities to widen our reach. It won’t cost you a penny and it means we can all work together to let all those that need us know we are there.

Did you know we’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn?

Thank you for all of your support throughout 2021 – we couldn’t do what we do without you!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

LDCs pull out all the stops through pandemic

As for many charities, it has been a particularly challenging year for the BDA Benevolent Fund. Fundraising opportunities fell away during the pandemic and there was a surge in applications from dental students, dentists and their families, as the profession felt the cruel effects of the COVID19 pandemic.

As expenditure on grant giving soared by 15%, there was a 25% fall in investment income, giving a troubling economic picture. However, Local Dental Committees recognised that fundraising opportunities from branches and sections had been impacted by the pandemic and truly stepped up, increasing their donations by almost 70%.

The LDCs were praised for their significant support of the BDA Benevolent Fund at their latest AGM which took place online, on 2nd September 2021.

Austin Banner, Vice-chairman, opened the presentation of the annual report and accounts to the end of September 2020, by thanking the LDCS, seconded by Chris Hayward, Secretary. Austin went on to thank Ros Keeton and her team, Laura Hannon and Susan Dare, for their remarkable resilience through the pandemic, and the swift and seamless handling of a move to working from home.

He then went on to outline the extension of services that had taken place, including a focus on health and wellbeing and financial education webinars. He noted the surge in financial support applications as a result of the pandemic and the growing trend that applicants are much younger than previously. The average age is now 31 years.

Other developments were highlighted, including:

The usual AGM business was attended to, including the re-election of Bill Creedon, who is due to serve a further 3 years on the Board. Ross Keeton, Chairman, also thanked Julie Kirkby for 13 years of service and dedication as she stepped down and wished her a happy retirement.

We have a brand new look

You may have noticed that we look a little different. The BDA Benevolent Fund was set up in 1883 and you can browse a fascinating timeline of the changes that have happened over the past 139 years on the Our History page of this new website. You will see that the last time a new logo was developed was 18 years ago and there have been some fundamental governance changes since then.

Ros Keeton, Chairman of the BDA Benevolent Fund explains why we felt the need for a change:

“Our new look clearly defines who the charity is for. We had feedback from our Advisory Council about our old website and logo and specifically about the word ‘benevolence’. We wanted to bring the appearance of the Charity into the 21st century and appeal to the whole dental community.”

The website has been redeveloped to help dental students, dentists and their families, access financial and wellbeing support quickly and easily.

“We started partnering with Health Assured in January 2020 to offer a free wellbeing provision.” said Laura Hannon, General Manager. “The link between money and mental health is well documented and there can be a reluctance from the dental profession to talk about wellbeing and be open about any challenges they face. The health and wellbeing portal, my healthy advantage app, and helpline and counselling services, give our applicants extra support and more preventative tools to look after themselves earlier on building their skills and resilience for the future.

The core of our work remains, which is to offer dental students, dentists and their families financial assistance online if they are experiencing difficulties with managing their essential expenditures such as food, bills, and housing costs.

“We would like to raise awareness of everything on offer to the entire dental profession.” said Ros Keeton, “and we hope the clarity and modernity of the logo catches attention and helps people connect with us and share our work, so more people can be supported.”

Help us to reach the wider dental community by connecting on our social channels and sharing our messaging: Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Instagram.

Feel free to contact us and let us know about your website experience and what you think of our new look.

Have you written a Will?

We have recently started a partnership with Farewill to offer a number of BDA Benevolent Fund supporters an easy way to write your Will, for free. You can write your Will from the comfort of your own home, by taking advantage of this exclusive offer (saving on average £90).

Click the button below to get started or arrange a telephone call back.

Dental student research project

We have received more applications from dental students than ever before linked to the implications that coronavirus has had on their courses (with some being extended) and their inability to work part time. Without any comprehensive resource where this already exists, we’ve commissioned some research to help us accurately learn more about the issues facing dental students. The survey will go live in the autumn but if you’re interested in learning more please get in touch for further information.

London Marathon 2021

We have four members of the dental community taking part in the biggest marathon ever staged.

Dr Robert Chaffe will be running in London, participating in the postponed in-person event. We’re pleased to welcome Dr Helen Reddington, Dr Zayd Rawoot and Mr Ronan Lee who have formed a virtual team and will be all running locally in their respective areas in the virtual event, completing the marathon within 24 hours on 3 October 2021.

Find out more about these runners and how you can support their efforts.