A PEEBLES dental practice will help bring smiles back to thousands of impoverished children in Bali when they set off on a charity mission next year.

In spring 2020 the team will leave their familiar surroundings at Ros Kerr Dental Practice to provide extensive dental hygiene education and screening services in Indonesia.

But the dental missionaries, comprising Carolina Landivar, Andrew Durning, Sara Gilmer and Kate Hill, will need more than fluoride and floss to carry out much needed work on 2,000 children and their carers – and they're asking the Peeblesshire community to help.

Sara explained: “International healthcare assistance trips such as this are expensive. So we're embarking on a fundraising campaign to raise £8,000 over the next 12 months. This will cover the extensive costs of medical equipment and educational materials, plus travel and basic accommodation costs for our team.”

With £1,500 already in the pot, the team have a long way to go to reach their target.

When asked what inspired the idea, Sara told us it was her travels to Africa in 2011 to build cooking shelters.

“While there, it became apparent that there was no dental care for the children. That’s when I decided I wanted to do more and to use my skills as a dental nurse.

“Carolina was just as keen so we set up our dental camp for two weeks in 2016, screening over 1,000 children and 300 carers and staff members. Anyone who required treatment was referred to the local hospital with charts we had written up.”

The work of this intrepid dental duo was continued the following year, as another dentist from Scotland flew to the country.

“We hope to do the same in Indonesia in the hope that it encourages others to carry on our work,” said Sara.

Some 70 per cent of young people in Bali are affected with tooth decay, something the dental practice hopes to change.

Sara added: “Our small team intend to provide expertise and hands-on medical care, but we will also assist with much-needed primary health education in these developing communities whose access to healthcare is so very limited.”

* Fundraising events include a games night at Cardrona Village Hall on Saturday, March 23, £3 on the door with raffles and prizes, and a car boot and craft fair at Cavalry Park on Sunday, April 28, with entertainment including Noble Mischief and drinks from The Thirsty Stag. To book a place contact Sara within the practice, or look out for information on Facebook and posters around the town.