Finding out how to give even more back…
I recently attended the Homeless and Inclusion Conference in Birmingham, my first time at this conference I was excited to find out more about how I could become involved with providing dental care for homeless and excluded people.
Well the day certainly didn’t disappoint, it was eye opening, inspiring and motivating.
Speakers included dental & homeless charities, various professionals from the dental world and the talks I found the most emotional were those from people who have been homeless themselves. Listening to people’s stories,why they became homeless, their journey, difficulties and prejudices they have faced brought a tear to my eye.
One particular speaker was Sarah Harries, she was living on the streets of Leeds, had suffered a lifetime of abuse and had a drug addiction. However with the help of others and a lot of hard work herself she is now a Pentecostal Minister, studying a degree and married with a daughter, four years ago she was close to death. A wonderful success story to hear.
I will definitely be getting involved where I can next year, through Crisis and Dentaid and doing some dental nursing for them. It has also given me a lot to think about in terms of day to day nursing here and what we can do to be aware and considerate of people and possible traumas.
I also wore my other hat on this day and presented a table for Dental Mavericks, to try and spread the word about our work and encourage attendees of the conference to join us for our 2019 trips. Scarily for me I had to present a short talk to the room about the work we do.
Not having done any public speaking before I was nervous to say the least( although most would argue I can speak more than needed any other time no problem ha ha) I survived though, no eggs or tomatoes were thrown and hope that I managed to encourage a few of the dentists to consider us next year.