Weston-super-Mare dental nurse shares her experience in Uganda to ‘encourage others’

PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 October 2016

Melissa Bissett in Uganda.

Melissa Bissett in Uganda.


A Weston-super-Mare woman says she had the ‘best but hardest experience’ of her life after she took her day job to Uganda to help people in need.

"I have always heard about it and I thought if I didn’t do it now, I would never do it."

Melissa Bissett

Melissa Bissett, aged 27, is a dental nurse at Houstons Dental Group in Milton Road, and she teamed up with charity organisation Dentaid to undertake the trip of a lifetime.

Dentaid organises a number of trips throughout the year to places around the world who do not receive good – or even any – dental care.

Last month Melissa travelled to Uganda for two weeks and told the Mercury she wanted to help others and do it ‘before it was too late’.

She said: “I have always heard about it and I thought if I didn’t do it now, I would never do it.

“It was the best experience of my life and I know I will go back next year. I will go every year.

“I wanted to see what it is like over there and now having been I know you wouldn’t want your teeth done over there.”

The charity was first born back in 1995 when another charity, Hope Now, realised how crucial good dental care was in parts of the world which cannot provide it.

Since then, the charity has boomed and as well as organising a number of trips to places such as Uganda, Greece, Zimbabwe and Nepal, it also provides care packages which can be sent to communities across the world.

Melissa may have really enjoyed the experience but she said it was not without its challenges.

She said: “We had two buses – one for us and our luggage and one for our resources.

“We travelled to a different place every day and this meant some days we went to places like barns and just set up our stuff and did our thing.

“It was really weird doing your job you do every day but it being so different.

“It was also very hard to adjust, to the equipment and day-to-day working.

“I now want to encourage others to do it too.”

To find out more about volunteering with Dentaid, visit the Dentaid website.

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