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Meet our “In Real Life” runner, Rob

Rob has been waiting a long time to run the London Marathon. He’s a seasoned runner and applied way back in 2019 to run in April 2020, but we all know what caused the cancellation of the London Marathon, not just once, but twice in that year.

COVID19 closed down the city centre to commuters, tourists, and residents alike.

It was disappointing not to run the marathon in 2020, as part of a live event, but they did put on a virtual event so participants could make use of all the training. I did the virtual event in around 3hours 30 and I would quite like to get a personal best on 3rd October, but to be honest, I’m just really looking forward to being involved in a large-scale event in London, albeit under different circumstances to how they did it in the past.

Rob has been training for such an extended period of time, that it has now become more of a way of life.

Running for me is a way of destressing. COVID completely changed my outlook on life, as it did for many people, and it was an incentive to get as fit as possible. I didn’t want to catch the train or tube to work anymore and took up cycling. Many of my colleagues and friends have done the same and incorporated fitness into their everyday activities too. I really feel like the fitter you are, the more able you are to cope with whatever life brings your way.

Rob shares his activities on his social media channels, and he has received many messages from followers explaining they have been inspired to get fitter as a result. He is an ambassador for promoting the benefits of talking about mental health and, in particular, encourages men around him to have conversations about it.

I wrote an article about my experience of mental ill-health and it was featured in Dentistry Magazine. It seemed to help people to open up.

Dentistry has been a tough industry to be in through the COVID pandemic. Shift patterns have changed; dentists have had lockdowns, fallow patches, and then longer shifts to catch up with backlogs; many have been through financial difficulties, particularly if they are self-employed and weren’t able to take advantage of the furlough scheme. Rob recognises it’s been particularly hard and is honoured to be raising money for the BDA Benevolent Fund, so more help can be offered to those in the profession that need it.

I love my work. I knew I wanted to go into dentistry as a profession because I wanted to work in healthcare and there was a much greater appeal of looking into people’s mouths than, well, other areas a GP might be looking! It has its stressful moments but I’m lucky enough to live near Richmond Park and work near Clapham Common. When I put on my Brooks trainers and have an early morning or lunchtime run, it helps clear the mind.

Rob listens to music while running, or sometimes audiobooks for variation, but when he’s on an early morning run, he turns down the volume to listen to the birdsong and appreciate the nature around him.

If you’d like to donate, visit our fundraising page.

Take a look at how Rob got on.

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Dr Austin Banner


  • Trustee since 2010
  • Dental speciality – Retired consultant Orthodontist
  • County – Southern Counties
  • I am a Past President of the BDA Southern Counties Branch with extensive experience in committee, management, teaching, and training.

Dr Peter Crooks


  • Trustee since 2020
  • Dental Speciality – General Dental Practitioner
  • County – Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • I am the representative of the Principal Executive Committee of the BDA on the BDA Benevolent Fund Board. I hope to continue and foster the close working relationship between the Charity and the BDA, of whose members are also members of the charity. I’m also a Director and Secretary of a charitable company – CHEERS Youth Centre

Dr Molly Deykin


  • Trustee since 2020
  • Dental speciality – General Dental Practitioner
  • County – London
  • I have been involved in student support groups and I was elected British Dental Student Association President. I worked with the Sands Cox Charity when I was the Dental School Society Vice-President. After graduating I was the Foundation Dentist Representative on the BDA Young Dentists Committee.

Dr Allan Franklin


  • Trustee since 2003
  • Dental speciality – General Dental Practitioner for 35 years
  • County – Oldham/ Rochdale
  • I am the Chairman of BDA Oldham & Rochdale Section (and previous Secretary). Chairman for the E.Lancs & E Cheshire Branch of BDA in charge of section regeneration. Previous Chairman of British Society for Dental Hypnosis (as it was then) and involved in Local Dental Committees.

Dr Alex Gormley


  • Trustee since 2020
  • Dental Speciality – Academic Clinical Fellow at the University of Bristol
  • County – Bristol
  • I have worked in primary dental care and a maxillofacial unit since graduation. I am continuing my dental core training alongside academic training at the University of Bristol. I also serve as the Early Career Representative as an invited board member at the FDS at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Dr Chris Hayward


  • Trustee since 2013
  • Dental speciality – Associate Specialist in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Lead Clinician Dental Emergency Department Newcastle Dental Hospital, Honorary  Clinical Lecturer Newcastle Dental School
  • County – Newcastle/ Northern Counties
  • I have been active in the BDA at Section, Branch, and National Levels. I was a member of the Rep Board/Body; a former member of the BDA PEC; a Director of International Affairs; and the previous BDA Board.

Dr Philip Henderson


  • Trustee since 2006
  • Dental Speciality-Principal Practice Owner and in General Dental Service for 37 years.
  • County – Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • I have been a Church Elder for 34 years with pastoral care responsibility Local Dental Adviser for Dental Protection including attending GDC Hearings and Probity work in NHS Current member “Probing Dental Stress” group in N.I.
  • Past: LDC Chair, N.I.DPC Chair, Northern Ireland Branch BDA President, Director of the BDA’s PEC for two terms

Dr Ros Keeton


  • Trustee since 2008
  • Dental Specialty – Leadership and management of Dental Services
  • County – Shropshire
  • I am an experienced NHS Chief Executive and health care leader who combines a dental background with substantial leadership experience. I am also a Chairman of a specialist hospice and EOL charity Compton Care. I am a passionate and committed advocate for dentists in distress.

Dr Stuart Robson


  • Trustee since 2006
  • Dental speciality – A General Dental Practitioner
  • County– North Yorkshire
  • Former President of BDA 1999- 2000, previous Vice-Chairman of BDA Council and also Dental Services Committee. On behalf of North Yorkshire LDC, was organiser and lead of the North Yorkshire PASS (Practitioner Advice and Support Scheme) preventing some dentist with problems having dire financial and professional difficulties.

Dr Bill Creedon


  • Trustee since 2014
  • Dental speciality – GDP
  • County – Hampshire
  • I have been in general practice for over 20 years as a practice owner in Southampton. The last four years I have been also working at Kings College, London. I am Chair of the BDA’s Wessex branch and Vice Chairman of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight LDC.