SeaFit and SmilesAtSea







SeaFit and SmilesAtSea shortlisted for prestigious charity award


The SeaFit and SmilesAtSea partnership has been shortlisted in the Third Sector Charity Business Awards as Project of the Year. This prestigious charity award recognises outstanding partnerships between UK businesses and good causes. SmilesAtSea, initiated by Smile Together Dental CIC, is a partner of the SeaFit Programme. Together they have been offering free dental check-ups and emergency treatment to fishing communities from a mobile dental unit located on or near harbor sides in Cornwall and Devon.

The SmilesAtSea tour was started by Smile Together in 2017, gained funding from the Seafarers Hospital Society in 2018 and was then adopted and expanded by the UK wide SeaFit Programme. Last year’s tour was the most successful yet, covering nine fishing ports in three weeks and treating 173 members of the fishing community.

Speaking about the awards, SeaFit Project Delivery Manager Carol Elliott said: “We’re delighted to have been shortlisted in recognition of the invaluable support we are providing to fishermen. Sadly, there won’t be an awards ceremony this year because of the Coronavirus but it doesn’t detract from the excitement for us and our partners.”

Finding an NHS dentist is a challenge for many, especially those in rural communities such as Cornwall and Devon. In Cornwall alone around 25,000 people are on the NHS dental waiting list and 1,000 children a year are admitted for tooth extractions due to decay. If you’re a fisherman and working at sea it’s even more difficult to make and keep appointments. Which is why SeaFit partnered with Smile Together to provide even more free dental checks and emergency treatment for local fishermen and their families where it’s convenient for them – right at the harbourside.

Joy Callender from Smile Together has led the SmilesAtSea project delivery since its inception and said: “This is such a great accolade which follows hot on the heels of us winning the national Dental Awards 2019 for ‘Best Outreach or Charity Initiative’. As a community interest company our team is passionate about reaching even further into our communities and this amazing partnership project enables us to make a difference to those who rarely get to see a dentist due to the demands of their work – in 2018 70% of those we saw hadn’t seen a dentist for at least 5 years. Last year this number reduced because the fishermen had been to see us the previous year!”

In the short-term Covid-19 has put a stop to upcoming SeaFit events, but it is hoped that SmilesAtSea 2020 will be late enough in the year to go ahead. “Our next tour has been provisionally planned for September and we are hoping we will once again be able to support fishermen on the quaysides,” explained Carol.




To find out more about the SeaFit Programme call Project Delivery Manager, Carol Elliott on 07486 319 621, or email



  • The SeaFit Programme is a joint initiative from the Seafarers Hospital Society and the Fishermen’s Mission. These two respected organisations are working in partnership to deliver sustainable improvements in the health and wellbeing of fishermen and their families around the UK
  • The Programme covers all aspects of health and wellbeing. It includes health checks on the harbourside; health trainers in the community; free dental checks and treatment; access to mental health and wellbeing support; and development of a network of physiotherapists trained to meet the specific needs of fishermen
  • With funding from Seafarers UK, this two-year programme started July 2018

To find out more about the SeaFit Programme call Project Delivery Manager, Carol Elliott on 07486 319 621, or email

  • Smile Together delivers dentistry with social impact, creating healthier happier communities.
  • Covering Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, they are one of the South West’s largest NHS referral and emergency primary dental care providers. Their West Country Dental Care team provide urgent and emergency dental treatments for people who don’t have their own dentist, run out-of-hours surgeries and apply expert skills to treat children and adults with a range of special care needs alongside oral surgery, children’s orthodontics and treatments under general anaesthetic in a hospital setting
  • Under their Brighter Dental brand they provide NHS care and competitively priced private dentistry from practices based in the heart of their communities, and they own a specialist dental laboratory DPS (Dental Prosthetic Solutions)
  • In 2016 they became an Employee-Owned Community Interest Company with clear rules about reinvesting their profits back into front line dental services and their community
  • Their Brighter Smiles campaign brings practical tooth-brushing clubs, oral health educational visits and fluoride varnishing to children in areas of high decay across Cornish communities

To find out more about the Smile Together please visit or contact Head of Marketing and Communications, Tracy Wilson on 07789 943426, or email

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