Big Issue vendors across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset have smart new tabards, thanks to support from the Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE).
PDSE and the Big Issue have a long standing relationship. The main mission of PDSE is to increase oral health awareness and address oral care inequalities for members of the community who are disadvantaged or at risk.
The organisation arranges interaction with Big Issue vendors via its Community Engagement Team, advising them how to look after their oral health and also providing access to NHS dental care at Dental Education Facilities. These are fully-equipped dental clinics where dental students, as well as student dental nurses and hygienists/therapists, from Plymouth University treat NHS patients under the supervision of qualified dental healthcare professionals, as part of their training.
The Community Engagement Team also works with dental students as they run projects with a variety of groups within the community, including the Big Issue. One such project saw students create a traffic light scheme for oral health, based on a poster carrying contact information for support for various levels of oral pain or illness.
PDSE has provided 100 tabards for Big Issue vendors to wear across the South West. Each tabard bears the slogan: “Oral health is a Big Issue, look after yours.”