Fundraising - The Dental Appeal

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In the 135 years since its establishment, the Dental School has evolved progressively in response to both professional and educational advances. A radically revised BDS curriculum was rolled out between 2004 and 2009. This curriculum has been highly acclaimed, achieving 100% overall student satisfaction in the four consecutive National Student Surveys of 2011 - 2014.

The Dental Hospital & School building in Sauchiehall Street has been undergoing an extended period of upgrading in recent years. NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde has invested heavily in infrastructure and clinical facilities whilst the University has concentrated on investments to upgrade teaching facilities.

There is one remaining Dental School teaching facility which is not fit for purpose and which is the subject of our current fund-raising. This is the Prosthodontics Teaching Laboratory, an area in which students spend a significant amount of time learning about the technical aspects of constructing dental prostheses, both fixed and removable. Replacement of this laboratory with a state-of-the-art Dental Technology Teaching Suite is the basis of the ongoing Dental Appeal.

Current Appeal

The New Prosthodontics Teaching Laboratory

The New Prosthodontics Teaching Laboratory

There has been an explosion in new technologies that are revolutionising dentistry both at the chair side and in the laboratory methods available to support the clinician. The current ‘Prosthodontics Teaching Laboratory’ was designed for a previous era and a fundamentally different, integrated ‘Dental Technology Teaching Suite’ is required in order to deliver a student-centred experience that ensures a detailed understanding of modern dental technologies.

Initial plans have been drawn up for development of a facility which will cost in the region of £3oo,000. We are at the very beginning of the fundraising campaign but have already received a very generous donation of £20,000 from Dr Andrew Barr in memory of his wife, Margaret Stirling, a Glasgow dental graduate and a highly respected practitioner.

A detailed report about the concept of the teaching suite and a case report illustrating new technologies in action may be accessed at A Dental Technology Teaching Suite for the 21st Century.


The Big Smile - World Record Attempt

Big Smile event logos

Are you ready to be a Record Breaker? 

We’re delighted to say that you can now sign up for our record breaking attempt at the Scottish Event Campus (the new name for the SECC) on Friday 9 June 2017.

We’re all set to crack the record for building the world’s biggest smile with 1,000 participants in 2017 but we need your help. This special record attempt will also raise awareness for National Smile Month and improved oral health so we’re hoping to have as many dental professionals as possible in attendance. But please also encourage your friends, colleagues and family to take part, oral health is important for all of us and everyone is welcome.

Sign up now to be a record breaker. £5 for adults, free for under 16s. The event includes your participation in a Guinness World Record attempt plus a special performance by the Glasgow Dental School Big Band to celebrate afterwards.

For further information and to sign up please go to https://cpdscotland.org/big-smile-big-band/


The Pedalling Profs

Now in its eighth year, the Glasgow Dental School’s cycle team, The Pedalling Profs, is growing in number and despite its name includes a variety of staff grades!

The team has conquered some of the most gruelling cycle routes in the North of England and Scotland, but it has been done with a great sense of esprit de corps and good humour, which explainins the increasing team size and the search for further challenges.

The summaries below recount some of their exploits from the rides and the success in raising over £10,000 for the University of Glasgow Development & Alumni Dental Fund

The Borders Run - 2016

Profs taking a rest

The Pedalling Profs event for 2016 was a cycle from Dumfries to Troon over three days from Friday 29 April to Sunday 1 May. The cyclists included University of Glasgow staff Ziad Al-Ani, Jeremy Bagg, Robert McKerlie, Al Ross and Richard Welbury; Glasgow Dental Alumni Fiona Beddis and Graeme Wright; and Newcastle colleagues Alan Beddis and Bob Wassall. As always, Mike and Rosie Broad formed an excellent support team. The weather was generally poor and the terrain hilly but the evening refreshment sessions were very enjoyable. The demise of the clutch on the University minibus that was serving as the support vehicle provided an additional challenge on the final day, but the cycle was completed and raised £435 for the Dental Appeal.

If you’d like to support the Dental Appeal by sponsoring The Pedalling Profs following their successful 2016 ride from Carlisle to Troon you can visit their donation page at: https://www.justgiving.com/PedallingProfs2016

Three of the Pedalling Profs in Dumfries

Three Profs

Profs taking a brew

Profs checking the map

Scenic view at Kircudbright

River in the borders

The team at the Bruce Hotel

The team at the finish line


Blinking Eye to Squinty Bridge - 2015

The Pedaling Profs at the Squinty Bridge after their ride from Newcastle

In their fourth venture, The Pedalling Profs rode from the “Blinking Eye” in Newcastle to the “Squinty Bridge” in Glasgow. The cyclists included Ziad Al Ani, Yulia Anopa, Jeremy Bagg, Laetitia Brocklebank, Nicola Docherty, Mary Downie, William McLean, Al Ross, Ken Scouler, Greig Taylor, Mark Thomason, Richard Welbury and Graeme Wright. They had a fantastic support crew consisting of Mike and Rosie Broad. Despite some of the team members thinking the biggest challenge would be squeezing into their new team cycling jerseys, the reality was  much worse – 400km (and more for a few who managed to get lost!) of dirt tracks, cobble stones and exposed coastal paths, head-winds, torrential rain, a broken cycle helmet and a clavicular fracture!  

In true Pedalling Profs style these challenges were dispatched whilst smiling (most of the time), and the team all looking forward to next year's outing. In fact plans have been made  to run a “training camp” in the Autumn in the Borders with cycling colleagues from Newcastle Dental School …

If you’d like to support the Dental Appeal by sponsoring The Pedalling Profs following their successful 2015 ride from Newcastle to Glasgow you can visit their donation page at: https://www.justgiving.com/pedallingprofs2015


The Highland Fling - 2013

Once again Professors Jeremy Bagg and Richard Welbury led this Pedalling Profs outing. Taking place over the May Bank Holiday weekend in 2013, the  team, which had now grown to nine and which included colleagues from Glasgow Dental Hospital & School, Edinburgh Dental Institute and Newcastle Dental School, cycled from Inverness to Glasgow along Route 7 of the National Cycle Network.

The weather was atrocious on the first day, with strong headwinds, heavy rain and snow. With the exception of a sunny ride along the south shore of Loch Tay on the morning of day three the weather remained poor for much of the trip. The route covered 226 miles and climbed over 7000 feet.

The profs on Drumochter summit

The tea and cake stops provided by Mike and Rosie Broad from the University mini-bus (kindly loaned by Transport Services), hospitality along the way from Dental School staff John Gibson and Ev Wallace, and evening meals accompanied by great banter made up for the hard graft during the days.

You would think following the meteorological assault endured during this trip the Pedalling Profs would hang up their cycling shorts, but no they are clearly made of strong stuff…


Hebridean Challenge - 2009

The Hebridean Challenge was successfully completed in May 2009. Still in its infancy, The Pedalling Profs team was small - Richard Welbury, Jeremy Bagg and Ken Scoular cycled from Castlebay on Barra to the Butt of Lewis, accompanied by Mike Broad who drove the support vehicle. The first day saw the team travel not only by bike, but minibus and ferry. The five hour crossing to Barra was thankfully calm and included sightings of two schools of dolphins (generally considered to be an omen of good luck).

The second day commenced with a ferry crossing to Eriskay. We cycled across South Uist, Benebecula and North Uist, a total of 58 miles. Day three saw an early rise to catch the 0720 ferry across the Sound of Harris. This was a very tough day of cycling, with steep hills in both Harris and Lewis and a total distance of 65 miles. The final day was a 30 mile cycle to our final destination, the Butt of Lewis. For the whole trip we were blessed with fine weather, a following wind and stunning scenery. As you read on, it will become apparent that fair weather  very rarely blesses The Pedalling Profs!

The western isles route and a hill climb


Coast to Coast Challenge - 2008

Like so many good ideas, it started with an early morning cappucino in Starbucks. Profs Welbury and Bagg were chatting about Prof Welbury’s static caravan near Keswick in the Lake District. The conversation turned to cycling in the area and, in particular, the Coast-to-Coast cycle route from Workington to Tynemouth. It was decided to tackle this challenge in the Summer of 2008. It was at this time that the Dental Fund was established as part of the Medical Fund and it was recognised that the cycle ride would be an excellent way to kick-start the fund-raising. Thus were born The Pedalling Profs.

The coast to coast route map

The Pedalling Profs were up early on day one and headed from Penrith to Workington. It was blowing hard, but was dry, as they circled the lighthouse at the start of C2C. They headed east and within half an hour ended up close to where they’d started - one wrong turn leads to another... This was actually the only time they got lost – on this trip at least!

They were soon back-on-track and out in the countryside. There was a fantastic range of scenery as the route took them along country lanes, along old drovers’ routes and down a precipitous rocky path to Bassenthwaite Lake. The Profs had very different approaches to uphill climbs. Richard took the meandering route, traversing the road from side to side to reduce the incline; Jeremy went for straight line manic bursts followed by brief stops for some hyperventilation. Farm gates (of which there were many) were an issue - very welcome on uphill stretches and a real pain when trying to set speed records on downhill stretches.

Day two saw the cyclists travel from Penrith to Nenthead in the company of Professor Mark Thomason, one of our external examiners, who is a keen (and, as we found out later, very fit) cyclist. The first 10 miles were fine, but the climb up onto Hartside (580 metres) was a slog. Proud as punch and thinking they’d broken the back of the day’s exertions, the smile was taken off their faces for the final stretch from Garrigill to Nenthead. Whilst shorter than Hartside it was even steeper - the Miners Arms at Nenthead was a welcome sight.

Whilst originally planned to take four days to complete the route into Tynemouth, their destination was reached by the end of day three. The first ten miles of day three were tough, with an immediate steep climb out of Nenthead up to the summit of Black Hill (609 metres). However, after an early lunch it was decided to go for broke. The last 30 miles were fantastic, along the Waskerley Way (a disused railway line) and the Derwent Walk. This phase was gently downhill, scenic and a great way to finish. Ice creams (a tradition that has been adopted at the end of the big cycling days) at the Millenium Bridge in Gateshed were a high spot and we completed the day’s 60 miles by mid-afternoon.

The Pedalling Profs look out to sea

All in all this was a fantastic experience. Over the 140 miles travelled, 13,600 feet were climbed, and descended – yippee!


Previous Fundraising

Mad Molars Monte Carlo or Bust - Banger Rally 2015

The Dental Appeal aims to raise £300,000 over the next three years to allow this major project to proceed. A variety of fund-raising events have been planned and/or exicuted in conjunction with the Glasgow Dental Alumnus Association. One of these was to enter a car in the 2015 Monte Carlo or Bust Banger Rally.

This banger rally adventure (http://montecarloorbustrally.com/) entailed buying a car for £300 or less and driving from San Qentin to Monte Carlo via Dijon, Geneva and Turin over 3 days (16-19 July 2015), with some competitions and challenges to complete en route. Emphasis was placed on “…dressing the car and the crew” and it was stressed that it was not a race. In 2014, participants in the rally had raised over £100,000 for UK charities.

The Dental School established a team called The Mad Molars to enter this event. The three drivers, all based at the University of Glasgow, were:

  • Jeremy Bagg: Head of Glasgow Dental School
  • Neil Campbell: Director of Campus Services
  • Ronnie Ford: Director of Transport Services

The car shown below was purchased for the event. It was a 1977 Leyland Princess. Decoration of the vehicle was an integral part of the fund-raising. Sponsors could purchase self-adhesive molar teeth (white tooth: £10; silver tooth: £25; gold tooth: £50) or smiling lips (£100), which they signed and which were attached to the body panels. Corporate sponsors could opt to have an advert on the vehicle for a minimum donation of £250.

We established a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/themadmolars) and a donation page was created at https://www.justgiving.com/themadmolars.

Support for the event was provided by:

Laura Morton, Medical Development Officer, Development & Alumni Office (laura.morton@glasgow.ac.uk 0141 330 3878)
Will McLean, Lead for Dental Alumni Relations and Fundraising (William.mclean@glasgow.ac.uk 0141 211 9626)
Ev Wallace, Dental School Administrative Secretary (evelyn.wallace@glasgow.ac.uk 0141 211 9701)


The Flying Molars

The FLying Molars

On the sunny Spring afternoon of Saturday 18th of April, ‘The Flying Molars’ team assembled on the glistening daffodil-lined esplanade of the south side of the River Clyde at Bells Bridge, joining the many others there participating in the University of Glasgow fund-raising zip-slide event that day. Each team member, Archie, Greg, Yulia, Fiona and Hannah squinted to look up to the distant basket hanging 150ft in the air on the other side of the river, next to Finnieston Crane. A tiny dot appeared on a barely visible line originating from the basket. The dot quickly became a zip slider zooming over the river to the platform on the other bank. Five such dots would soon be Flying Molars team members!

The smiles and laughter complemented the clear blue skies, whilst the nerves and anticipation of each participant were balanced by the slight chill in the crisp, fresh air. The nerves were too much for one team member, Fiona, who was substituted by keen Dental Appeal supporter Barry, who was then harnessed up with the rest of the team and ready to walk over the bridge. With a guest appearance from ‘Pedalling Prof’ Al Ross, on his bike and several other supporters, the team posed for photographs in their helmets.

Fiona and many other supporters stood with cameras poised as first zipper of the group, Barry, zoomed across above the crowds. Next up was Yulia, who seemed to be just a flash of red flying through the air, then Hannah, whose gymnast skills produced a very elegant zip. Archie’s height must have made him less aerodynamic , since he started fast but a slow finish left him short of the landing platform, and he was barely on the ground before Greg’s confident, nearly horizontal pose had the crowds cheering as he swept past. Spirits were high as the relieved team members congratulated each other afterwards and reviewed the Video Clips‌. No one ended up in the Clyde, despite Greg’s claims that an unexpected dip in the river wouldn’t be so bad.

Well done Team ‘F lying Molars’ and thanks to all who donated and/or came along on the day to support the team.The zip slide event has so far raised a total of £726 for the University of Glasgow Dental Appeal and donations can still be made at https://www.justgiving.com/Flying-Molars.