Simplyhealth Professionals is gearing up for a third season of support for Boundaries For Life at cricket matches across the UK.
Founded in 2010 by Dr Chet Trivedy, a dual-qualified dentist and doctor, Boundaries for Life offers free health checks for spectators and ground staff at major cricket fixtures throughout the UK. Sponsored by Simplyhealth Professionals, the project is made possible through a team of volunteer health professionals who check for signs and risks of health issues including blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol, heart age and obesity.
As well as a detailed medical check from a healthcare professional, users of the service also benefit from a mouth cancer check from a dentist – many of whom have been volunteers from Simplyhealth Professionals’ network of member dentists. At the end of the checks, each user is given a five-page health report and access to an online interactive dashboard.
Highlighting the links between oral health and general health
Catherine Rutland, Head of Professional Support Services at Simplyhealth Professionals, has volunteered at several matches over the last couple of years. “I’ve seen first-hand the amazing work that Boundaries For Life do and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience,” she says. “Supporting Boundaries for Life is a great opportunity to champion a very important cause, as well as helping people to understand the links between oral health and general health. This can encourage them to reassess lifestyle choices such as alcohol consumption, smoking and diet, which could potentially contribute to issues such as mouth cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.”
Building on success
2018 was a very successful year for Boundaries For Life, with over 250 health checks completed by the team. As a result of their health checks, nearly 50 users were recommended to see their GP, dentist or other health professional for further advice or treatment, potentially saving lives.
Data insights from the checks also revealed that 34% of users were obese, 42% had a raised BMI, and 70% had a waist measurement that is considered to be medium or high risk for diabetes. Shockingly, almost half of users (48%) were at an increased risk of developing diabetes according to the Diabetes UK risk scoring system. Furthermore, one in four users had raised blood pressure and 40% had raised cholesterol.
“We’re proud to have helped so many people, but these figures highlight that there is still a lot of work to do,” says Chet. “2018 was a particularly exciting season as it was the first year that we conducted heart age checks in addition to our regular checks. This provided users with an opportunity to know how old their heart is medically, compared to their actual age. We’re keen to keep building on our success and provide an ever-broader range of checks in the future.”
Volunteering as a Simplyhealth Professionals member dentist
Volunteering alongside Catherine last year was Mo Naqvi, Simplyhealth Professionals member dentist and principal of Corn Street Dental Practice in Witney. “I initially volunteered to help Boundaries For Life at Lord’s and conducted many mouth cancer checks as well as generally helping with managing the health check process. It was fantastic to see so many spectators and staff making the time to receive a free health check, and knowing we were potentially helping people to be aware of any signs or risks of serious diseases. The demographic of the spectators can mean they are at higher risk for the health conditions we are checking for and they can be more willing to see us in this relaxed environment. I love cricket so it’s nice to give back something to the cricket family and we managed to catch some match play too! I enjoyed my day so much that I put myself forward for further days and joined the team again at the Edgbaston and Ageas Bowl Test matches later in the season. I would definitely recommend this to my peers and I will be volunteering again this year. You don't have to be a cricket fan, you can sit in the summer sun whilst I explain it to you!”
Volunteering at the matches provides many benefits for our member dentists. “It’s a great opportunity to get into the community and help check people for mouth cancer, especially if they haven’t seen a dentist in a while,” explains Catherine. “It’s also great for your personal PR – our press team can help put a press release together to publicise your support in your local papers. And if you’re a cricket fan, or you’ve always wanted to experience the fantastic atmosphere at major matches, you can take breaks and enjoy watching the game.”
How to volunteer
If you’re interested in volunteering with Boundaries for Life this summer, please email the PR team at [email protected] . For further information on Boundaries For Life, visit www.boundariesforlife.co.uk