It will be a trip of a lifetime for dental therapist Joanne Shepherd later this month when she heads to Uganda for a fortnight of charity work.
The 24-year-old from Kirriemuir is off to Africa on September 25 to work with Dentaid, a charity group that allows professionals in the developing world all the resources they need to provide an oral health care service to their community.
Joanne raised an astonishing £3,748.02 to make the trip possible - almost twice the required amount - thanks to a sponsored trek up Ben Nevis which was undertaken by a group of 30 people, made up of her friends, family and colleagues from the Forfar and Blairgowrie branches of Colin C Yule and Associates dental practice.
The former Webster’s High School pupil is anticipating a big challenge, but said she’s very excited to be experiencing a different culture and doing some important work in Uganda’s rural communities.
She said: “I’m excited about the challenge but I’m getting a bit anxious now as I get closer to it. But I’m looking forward to it, meeting new people, seeing Africa firsthand.”
“We raised £3,748.02 and a minimum of £2,000 was required which goes towards flights, accommodation, food as well as the dental tools and the charity. They told me that I’ve raised more than any volunteer they’ve ever had, and that Scottish volunteers often seem to do better.
“Eight volunteers from the UK will join four Ugandan dentists and we’ll be working in more rural communities, setting up mobile clinics for treatment. It will be mainly basic procedures because there will be no electricity most of the time.
“I got involved last year, I always wanted to travel but I went straight to university so I didn’t get the chance. I came across a Dentaid stall at a conference last year and looked into it from there. I’d like to thank everyone for their support, friends and family to the Forfar Rotary Club, and Colin C Yule Associates.”