Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE), which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary, has been named as a finalist in the UK Social Enterprise Awards, recognising it as one of the country’s most innovative and impactful businesses.​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌

Social enterprises are mission-led businesses that reinvest or donate most of their profits for a social or environmental purpose. PDSE, which operates out of four dental education facilities in Plymouth, Exeter and Truro; researches, trains, invests, treats and educates for a better future in dentistry. It has pumped over £2.5m into providing support for the most vulnerable people in the region whilst offering ‘real world’ training to the next generation of dental professionals from the University of Plymouth.

The organisation beat stiff competition to make the shortlist for the UK Social Enterprise Awards this year, which attracted more than 400 entries from all over the country. Awards recognise sector-leading excellence and innovation across a diverse range of criteria, and PDSE is a finalist in the ‘Community-Based Social Enterprise’ category.

Over the past year PDSE has eased pain for 5,047 local people; put smiles on the faces of 79 refugees and asylum seekers; provided oral health education for thousands of local children in 146 schools; and influenced 81 new graduates to become socially responsible dental professionals.

Commenting on the shortlisting, Professor Robert Witton, Chief Executive at PDSE, said: “I’m very proud that our impact has been recognised again at a national level at a time when dentistry is in a state of crisis. Our focus is on improving the oral health of our community, keeping people out of hospital and reducing the burden on the NHS budget. I’d like to thank the whole team at PDSE and the University of Plymouth for their commitment and professionalism which has captured the attention of the judges.”
Peter​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌ Holbrook CBE, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK, commented: “Our Awards are the ultimate showcase of the impact and excellence of social enterprises. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​Those who made the shortlist are a beacon of innovation, optimism and resilience in turbulent times.

“‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​These are trailblazers and standard-setters for better business, making profit but not putting it before people and planet – and they do all this under the same immense pressures as other businesses, with the long-term impacts of Covid and a national cost of living crisis. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌

“The challenges we face as a society demand new approaches and a shift in how businesses – big and small – act.‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​ Social enterprises celebrated at our Awards are the brightest stars in a brilliant sector, giving us all inspiration and motivation to do business better.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌

PDSE will join other finalists and VIP guests at a prestigious awards ceremony in London’s iconic Roundhouse on Thursday 30 November, when the winners will be revealed.

The Awards are run by Social Enterprise UK, the leading membership body for social enterprises. There are more than 100,000 social enterprises in the UK, employing around two million people and contributing £60bn to the national economy each year – while also tackling some of the biggest challenges facing people and the planet.