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.

2023 AGM Notice

You are invited to attend the BDA Benevolent Fund’s 140th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and celebratory event.

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

The AGM will start at 12pm (doors from 11.45 am) on Tuesday 4th July, at 64 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8YS. You can register to attend using the link below.

Following the meeting, you are welcome to join us to celebrate 140 years of the organisation starting at 2 pm with a panel discussion discussing the ‘future of dentistry’.

The AGM agenda includes:

  • Welcome and introduction from our Patron – Dr. John Milne
  • Apologies
  • Minutes of the last AGM – held on Wednesday 29th June 2022
  • Matters arising from the last AGM
  • Chairman’s report – Dr. Ros Keeton
  • Receipt of the Annual Report and Accounts for 2022 and report from the Treasurer – Dr. Chris Hayward
  • Re-election of the following Trustees:
    • Dr. Peter Crooks
    • Dr. Molly Deykin
    • Dr. Alex Gormley
  • Resolution to amend the charity’s objects
  • Board nomination for the Chairman position
  • AOB
  • Closing remarks

You can access the papers using the links below:

Help us celebrate 🥳

In our 140th birthday year

2023 is our 140th birthday year and to mark the occasion, we’d like to share any stories from people who have been part of, or supported by the Charity, over the years.

So, if you have been involved in:

  • Fundraising for the Charity
  • Served on the Board of Trustees
  • Volunteered in any capacity
  • Visited people in need of support
  • Worked with us in partnership, or
  • Been helped by the Charity

Then do get in touch with us to share your story.

We are looking to build a library of images and anecdotes to add to our history pages and would welcome any images, recent or not!

We look forward to hearing from you and celebrating this wonderful anniversary.

Survey results suggest cost-of-living pressures affecting dental students

The results of our second in-depth survey of UK dental students have highlighted that an increased number of students are suffering financially due to the cost of living pressures after the COVID-19 pandemic.

42% of survey respondents said they cannot meet the costs of essential bills (up from 18% in 2021). The share of respondents who reported difficulties affording their rent and bills increased to around 40% which is more than twice as much as in 2021.

31% reported difficulties with affording food shopping and several students gave accounts of cutting back on food
purchases
due to the increased prices.

Watch our short video to learn more about the main findings:

Download the report in full to see how financial and wellbeing concerns are affecting dental students across the UK.

For more information on how we help students, including how to apply visit the student page.

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

Free Wills Month is a campaign running in March that partners charities with solicitors to offer people over the age of 55 the chance to have their Will written or updated for free. It is funded by charities that take part in the scheme. However, the average age of someone writing a Will in 2022 with Farewill was 49. Therefore, this Free Wills Month we are offering up a limited number of Wills to offer up to all of our supporters, regardless of age.

Did you know 2/3 of adults haven’t made a Will?

Unfortunately, we see the consequences of people who don’t make any provisions for the future, specifically how their families are to be taken care of. We would like to change that by raising awareness of good financial planning.

Having an (up-to-date) Will has many benefits; it helps to reduce your inheritance tax; helps you to care for family, friends, and pets; and controls your estate, making your wishes known (and hopefully avoiding arguments). It also allows you to offer assistance in the future to charities like us, supporting dental students, dentists, and their families.

Check out our stories page to learn more about what difference you could make by leaving us a gift.

Why Farewill?

Farewill has won multiple awards for its service, including National Will Writing Firm of the Year 2019-2022 at the British Wills and Probate Awards. Their specialist teams are available to help you over the phone or email, 5 days a week, 9 am-6 pm.

Start today

There is no obligation to do so but if you choose to write your Will using our voucher codes we hope you’ll consider leaving a gift in your will to the BDA Benevolent Fund (registered charity number 208146), to at least cover the costs of the Will (RRP £90/£135 for a single/couple Will online and £240/£380 using the telephone service). Even 1% of your estate makes a huge difference.

If you live in England or Wales, you can access both online and telephone call-back services from the comfort of your home. If your Will is more complex, or if you live in Scotland and Northern Ireland, you can access your free Will using the telephone call-back service.

If you don’t think you’re ready to start your Will just yet, but would like to be reminded about any offers in the future, then sign up to our newsletter to be kept up to date.

Please note: we are independent of the BDA and so are not funded directly by them, nor their members through the membership fees. This is not a ‘benefit’ of BDA membership. It is funded through our marketing budget to help fundraise and promote good financial planning. There are a limited number of wills available.

Dental Students: Give us your thoughts

This time last year we conducted the first-ever survey of UK Dental Students to identify their financial and wellbeing needs. You can read the results here.

Help us with further research

This year, we are doing a second survey to be able to report on any improvement in the provision or continued gaps in support.

If you are a student: Taking part in our survey will give you the opportunity to provide your opinion on financial and wellbeing issues you may be facing, or have faced whilst at university. It will also ask you about the support currently available and whether this meets your needs.

What if I completed the survey last time? We encourage all dental students to take part, whether this is your first time completing the survey or you got involved last year to get your current opinions as well as a true representation across all the dental schools.

The survey will take up to 15 minutes to complete and gives you the option to be entered into a prize draw to win one of three £100 cash prizes.

If you are not a student: We hope that you will share the survey either by forwarding this web page or by sharing the link on your social media channels so we can reach as many people as possible.

What is the aim?
The answers will help us, and others, to better understand how to assist students across the 16 different dental schools in the UK. It will provide an annual benchmark to identify trends and report on improvements.

To be objective and independent we are working with Ecorys – a research company to help us develop this survey and undertake the analysis. Overall, we hope to discover new things and emerging trends in order to support a greater number of people, as well as improve our offer. 

The survey and associated prize draw will close on 27 November 2022.

Get started now: use our limited-time offer to write your will for free this October

Did you know that most Wills take just under 30 minutes to draft and that 2/3 of adults haven’t made a Will?

Making plans for the future by having an up-to-date Will can not only give you peace of mind the people you care about will be looked after, but it also allows you the opportunity to think about causes close to your heart too.

Why now?

Free Wills Month takes place twice a year – in March and October – to give anyone (usually aged 55 and over) the chance to have their Will written or updated for free. It is funded by charities that take part in the scheme. We are funding 100 Wills via Farewill the largest will writer in the UK. Our offer is open to any of our adult supporters, regardless of your age.

The free Will writing service is on a first-come, first-served basis. It will end on 31st October, or once all free Wills are used. The last time we ran the campaign in March, all Wills were taken up so don’t delay – start it today.

If you choose to write your Will using our voucher codes we hope you’ll consider leaving a gift in your will to the BDA Benevolent Fund, although there is no obligation to do so.

Why Farewill?

Farewill has won multiple awards for its service, including National Will Writing Firm of the Year 2019, 2020, and 2021 at the British Wills and Probate Awards. Their specialist teams are available to help you over the phone or email, 6 days a week, 9 am-6 pm.

How do I start it?

If you live in England or Wales, you can access both online and telephone call-back services from the comfort of your home.

If your Will is more complex, or if you live in Scotland and Northern Ireland, you can access your free Will using the telephone call back service.

Watch our video to learn more.

Applications continue to rise, and a new team guides future strategy.

Prof Liz Kay, Patron of BDA Benevolent Fund, was delighted to welcome online participants and preside over the BDA Benevolent Fund’s 139th AGM, on 29th June, which was attended by over 30 people, thanks to easy online access.

Dr. Ros Keeton, Chairman, gave her report detailing an increase in applications to the charity when compared with pre-pandemic levels.

“The same trend can be predicated for 2022” commented Dr. Ros Keeton. “There has also been a shift in applications from younger dentists and dental students. The average age of applicants in 2021 was 31yrs, compared the to late 40s in previous years.”

As part of the Chairman’s report, she outlined a key research piece that the Charity commissioned in 2021, to establish the needs of the dental student community, results of which can be found here.

“This research has given the Charity a clear call to action, in terms of the services we provide and how we should reach this key part of the dental community. We hope to continue the research again and will work with other people and partners, as a result of the 2021 findings.”

She referred people to the 2021 Annual Report and Accounts for a complete view of the Charity’s activities.

She concluded her report by thanking those Trustees retiring at this AGM having given over 50 years of combined service

  • Dr. Allan Franklyn (20yrs)
  • Dr. Philip Henderson (16yrs)
  • Dr. Stuart Robson (16yrs)

She also thanked the BDA Benevolent Fund staff, the BDA, LDCs, companies, and individuals for all their support, whose time and funds have helped the Charity to provide support for the dental community.

Dr. Chris Hayward presented the Treasurer’s Report highlighting a fall in income in 2021 compared to 2020. This was explained in part because of the drop in LDC contributions received in 2021 compared to the exceptional uplift in 2020.

The final business of the AGM was to elect four new Trustees to the Board. There were four submissions of interest and each candidate was voted on by the members.

The new Trustees are:

  • Dr. Shafaq Ali
  • Dr. Richard Hems
  • Dr. Derek Manson
  • Dr. Meena Shykhon

“We look forward to working with a new team to progress the aims and objects of the Charity,” concluded Dr. Ros Keeton.

The date of the next AGM is 28th June 2023.

AGM Notice

You are invited to attend the BDA Benevolent Fund’s 139th Annual General Meeting (AGM)

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

The AGM will take place virtually, via zoom, on Wednesday 29th June, at 5 pm. You can register to attend using the link below.

The Agenda includes:

  • Welcome and introduction from our Patron – Professor Liz Kay
  • Apologies
  • Minutes of the last AGM – held on 2 September 2021 (AGM2/2022)
  • Matters arising from the last AGM
  • Chairman’s report
  • Receipt of the Annual Report and Accounts for 2021 (AGM3/2022) and report from the Treasurer
  • Election of four new Trustees
  • AOB
  • Closing remarks

You can access the papers using the links below:

We look forward to seeing you.

Fancy running a marathon?

TCS Virtual London Marathon 2022 Charity Place Application

We’re looking for more marathon-runners to help us raise funds at the TCS Virtual London Marathon taking place on Sunday 2 October 2022.

You can run this virtual marathon anywhere in the country and have a full 24 hours to run 26.2 miles on Sunday 2 October, so don’t miss out!

We have 5 virtual places available and are looking for people within the dental profession who want to raise funds and awareness of our Charity, as well as complete one of the most famous marathons in the world.

Submit your interest as soon as possible to be considered for selection:

We will then shortlist and choose 5 runners and notify all applicants of the outcome.

FAQs about the virtual marathon are here.

Good luck!

Here’s a video summary of last year’s event.

Marathon success in 2021