Businesses across Norfolk are being asked to help in the global initiative being undertaken by a healthcare professional from the region.
Norfolk Dentist Gautam Sharma is weeks away from a special return-visit to provide dental care to displaced families and children in Lebanon on the Syrian border.
Having previously seen and treated the community first-hand this Easter, and been appointed as a clinical consultant of The Dental Mavericks Charity, he’s returning to the region as part of an initiative dubbed ‘Miles for Smiles’, and asking Norfolk companies to support his efforts.
Dr Sharma, who runs West Earlham Dental Practice, has an allowance of some 23kg available for his September trip, and is keen to take as many toys, toothbrushes, colouring books and crayons as well as any other small donations.
During his mission, which begins on 27 September, he’ll be meeting families and children within a series of ‘camps’ across the region. He hopes to pass on the items in person, as well as delivering much-needed dental care.
He said: “On my previous visit, I was humbled by the response I received to all the small gestures which I had managed to take with me.
“This is a community of people who have been through so much, and faced such horrific circumstances in recent times, so being handed a toy or a Norwich City t-shirt meant so much to them.”
He continued: “This time I’ve been granted more luggage allocation for my trip, so I’d be really appreciative of any kind gesture which local businesses and families in the area could offer.
“Something so simple to us here in East Anglia, means such an incredible amount to families of those who have been displaced.”
To help with the process of taking in items, Dr Sharma and his team have arranged collections at Tesco Express Earlham Road, Earlham Rd, Norwich NR4 7TF.
A small number of items will also be taken in at the West Earlham Dental Practice, but this should be arranged in advance where possible.
Anyone not able to physically contribute items, or who would rather contribute to a fundraising appeal, can do so by visiting Dr Sharma’s newly established Just Giving page.
To contribute, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/westearlham-dentalpractice
It was announced earlier this summer that Dr Sharma had been made lead clinical consultant for the Lebanon project for Dental Mavericks, following his initial trip. The cause was established just under a decade ago, and is a UK registered charity which brings together dental professionals to help provide specialist care and prevention advice in disadvantaged communities throughout the world.
To contact Gautam and hear more about how his work, and that of Dental Mavericks, is helping enhance the lives of Syrian refugees, email
firstname.lastname@example.org or contact a member of the team on 01603 250 583