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.

Members agree to extend Charity’s remit at its 140th AGM

Dr. John Milne, Patron of the BDA Benevolent Fund, gave a warm welcome to attendees and presided over the 140th AGM, on Tuesday 4th July 2023, which took place in person for the first time since the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The Chairman’s Report

Dr Ros Keeton began proceedings and gave the final report of her Chairmanship, outlining both the past activities and future direction of the Charity – the theme at the AGM and 140th birthday celebrations.

Applications up 60%

Applications for financial assistance were up by 60% on the previous year (2021) and demand for the Charity’s services remained high, especially from the dental student demographic. This was in part, due to a second research exercise amongst dental students ascertaining what their wellbeing and financial issues were. The results of the second survey highlighted difficulties resulting from the pandemic had been replaced by worries about the cost-of-living crisis, with some students even cutting back on food and going to food banks.

Dental students need support

Dr. Ros Keeton expressed concern about the sobering results of the student survey and called on the profession to address issues raised and support future generations of dentists.

Handing over the baton

Dr. Ros Keeton concluded her report by focusing on the strong position the BDA Benevolent Fund is in to support dentists in the future. She thanked the team, led by newly promoted Chief Executive, Laura Hannon, for leading a charity with good governance, good technology, and corporate citizenship, that supporters and donors can have the utmost confidence in.

Stability in times of uncertainty

Dr. Chris Hayward then went on to present the Treasurer’s report, taking attendees through the 2022 Annual Report and Accounts for a complete view of the Charity’s activities and finances.

The main point of note was income remained stable and increases in expenditure supporting the growth of activities were made possible thanks to very generous donations from Local Dental Committees (up 54% on 2021), as well as ongoing support through BDA branches and sections, and individual givers.


The Charity embraced technology and voted electronically via ballot to re-elect three current Trustees for a second term to the Board of Trustees:

  • Dr Peter Crooks
  • Dr Molly Deykin
  • Dr Alex Gormley

Amendment to charitable objects

Members were then called on to vote on the resolution to amend the objects of the Charity with the main change to include supporting:

“someone who was entitled to work (through qualification, registration or equivalent) as a dentist in their home country and has asylum seeker or refugee status in the UK”

Laura Hannon gave a background introduction for the rationale before voting and the motion was passed unanimously.

New Co-Chair nominations

Dr. Ros Keeton was thanked for her many years of service on the Board of Trustees, by Vice-Chairman, Dr. Austin Banner who gave a speech and presented her with gifts. 

He also informed the attendees that the Board had nominated two current Trustees to take up the roles of Co-Chairs-Dr. Molly Deykin and Dr. Shafaq Hussein. They will be formally ratified at the next board meeting on 20th September.

Attendees were invited to a lunch, followed by a panel discussion on “The Future of Dentistry”.

The date of the next AGM is Friday 28th June 2024.

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

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.