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Socially distanced, but still connected

How dental students continue to work alongside the local community during Covid-19 to share positive health messages.

The Inter-Professional Engagement (IPE) module at Peninsula Dental School is where students are introduced to the concept of community engagement and social accountability.  Working in partnership with local organisations students design and deliver a health improvement project within the community focussing on adopting positive, healthy lifestyles.  Co-production is at the heart of what we do, encouraging students to explore creative and engaging delivery styles whilst working in partnership with their host and local community.  Take a look at some recent year’s facts and figures putting community and students at the heart of what we do: 

In recent years students have developed amazing projects including oral health themed storytelling sessions in children’s centres, creating a brushing song for use in early year’s settings and at home by families, oral health workshops and fayres, staff training and arts and crafts sessions with adults and children. 

But what about Covid-19?  This year is different!  With no face to face engagement taking place students are exploring new and exciting engagement platforms to assist them with the development of meaningful and effective projects alongside their host organisations.  Socially distanced but still connected, we’re excited to see how this year unfolds with students embracing this unique opportunity to share key health messages within the community in a new way.

“Helping to engage with groups who otherwise might not access oral health care is a really important part of what we do at Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise. As well as reaching those communities themselves, it’s important that we support those who work closely with them to ensure that message is as sustainable as possible”. Rob Witton, Director of Community-based Dentistry and Chief Executive Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise CIC

It would be impossible to deliver this module without the amazing, collaborative support of our host organisations across the city.  A huge thank you to all involved who have made this module such a success.  We’ll come back to Our Plymouth and share our stories with you later in the year, so watch this space.    

We are always keen to work with new organisations, if you’re working in the city and are interested in supporting both students learning and connecting them to those you support please get in touch:  abigail.nelder@plymouth.ac.uk or robert.witton@plymouth.ac.uk

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