Community Dental Services, a social enterprise based in Bedfordshire and covering nine counties across the East of England has won the Health and Social Care Social Enterprise of the Year at the UK Social Enterprise Awards, held last night at the Royal Horticultural Halls in central London.
The national Awards, organised by Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) recognises excellence and outstanding achievements by social enterprises, businesses set up to for a social purpose that reinvest or donate the majority of their profits to meet their mission. There are now nearly 80,000 social enterprises in the UK, contributing £24 billion to the economy each year.
Community Dental Services is Community Interest Company established to improve oral health in local communities with an annual turnover of £12m.
Working with the NHS, businesses, schools, community groups and other organisations, CDS brings the best clinical dental services and oral health information to the people that traditional dental services are unable to reach. This includes people with physical or mental health challenges that make it difficult to access dental services, or people in locations or situations where good dental healthcare is harder to deliver. A separate charity, CDS Action has been established to support health and wellbeing projects in the communities where CDS operates. It is an employee owned social enterprise.
Alison Reid, CEO of CDS said: “Receiving a national award like this recognises all the hard work we have and continue to do to reach out to people to improve their oral health. It also offers us a great opportunity to have even greater impact and reach even more communities. It was an honour to receive the award yesterday on behalf of every employee. As an employee owned social enterprise, it is all of them that have merited this award and recognition from the judges for all the exceptional work that they do.”
The annual celebration of British social enterprises was hosted by comedian Aisling Bea who was joined onstage by SEUK patrons, actor Michael Sheen and director/comedian Chris Addison.
Peter Holbrook, Chief Executive of Social Enterprise UK said:
“The UK Social Enterprise Awards are a real testament to the dynamism and diversity of the UK social enterprise sector. This year’s winners have included a social enterprise employing IT consultants who bring together the unique talents of people living with autism, coffee carts transforming the lives of those without a home, a film company opening up the creative industries to young people and even a social enterprise dental service working in some of the UK’s most challenging neighbourhoods.
Social enterprises are continuing to prove that they’re a force to be reckoned with, they’re creating solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face and showing how business can and should be done.”
Social enterprise supply chain
CDS and the other winners were presented with bespoke trophies made by the social enterprise, Designs in Mind, which employs people with mental health issues. Social enterprises also supplied all the goods and services on the night, including the catering, rigging, drinks, flower displays and goody bags.
Sponsors of the Awards are the British Council, Big Society Capital, Cordant Group GLL, Good Finance, Here, Landmarc ,Natwest, Nominet Trust ,PwC, Power to Change, the Co-op, Santander, Wates, Social Investment Scotland and Unity Trust Bank.