Smiles all round!

Smile Together CIC is to open a dental centre designed and adapted for patients with special needs, having secured £1m in investment from Big Issue Invest (BII).

The new site, in Cornwall, will open by the summer.

Resonance, which helps organisations to become investment ready and to raise funding, advised Smile Together on the investment.

Smile Together – formed in 2016, and shortlisted in last year’s UK Social Enterprise Awards – secured the investment from BII in late 2018, in the form of an unsecured eight-year fixed interest loan, with capital repayments not starting until year four.

The investment will finance the refurbishment of a former grammar school, which the community interest company (CIC) has purchased itself, into a purpose-built dental centre designed and adapted for patients with special needs, including mental health conditions and autism. The new site will increase local access to competitively-priced and fully accessible dental services, and will see children for free.


Happy when it rains

During the 12th century, people came to Cambodia’s Kulen mountain, a sacred place associated with fertility, to cut huge chunks of stone that would have to be hauled down by elephants.

In recent decades, despite Kulen becoming a protected area, people have come not just to pick the sweet lychee fruits from which the mountain derives its name, but to cut trees to sell for luxury hardwood or charcoal in towns further down.

The illegal logging of Kulen national park has laid bare vast patches of forest. As the tree cover has shrunk, the people living on top of the mountain have watched the rain clouds that used to gather above the forest shrink or slip away altogether.