An Advisory Council update

The latest Advisory Council meeting was held on 4 February 2023, to propose and discuss some changes to the charity, specifically expanding its charitable objects to include supporting asylum seekers and refugee dentists. Currently, applicants must be dental students, dependants, or those who are, or who have been registered with the GDC.

The meeting, held virtually in the BDA Benevolent Fund’s 140th anniversary year, was chaired by Dr. Ros Keeton, who began with an outline of the latest work and the demand the Charity has seen since the Covid pandemic.

Meetings of the Advisory Council provide an opportunity to guide, support, and offer feedback to the charity. The meeting was focused on the question of ‘how best should the Charity support asylum seekers and refugee dentists, living in the UK who are facing financial hardship’. It was well attended by Charity supporters as well as representatives from the wider dental and refugee community including the British Dental Association, RefuAid, and Restart Refugee Support.

The attendees then quickly got down to business to discuss the topic at hand in breakout rooms, each chaired by Trustees or staff.

“This anniversary year is a time of, not just reflection on the fabulous work of the Charity over this time, but also a time to look forward and examine just how we remain relevant to dentists in the UK, now and in the future.”

Notes were fed back to the wider group and key contacts, messages of support, and concerns were shared for the Trustees to consider.

Next steps…

Following the findings of the Advisory Council, the Charity will seek Charity Commission approval and will continue to consult and discuss with members and the dental community before putting forward a resolution at the AGM. If you’d like to get involved and have your say, please get in touch.

If you are an asylum seeker or refugee dentist in the UK, you can seek assistance from…

British Dental Association offers free membership to asylum seekers and refugee dentists. This includes access to the British Dental Journal and library, as well as Branch meetings and networking.

Restart Refugee Support offers refugee dentists assistance with exam fees and mentoring.

RefuAid provides people who have fled their homes with tailored support to build independent and dignified lives.