25th June 2020

A YOUNG BOY from St Helens has been announced as our first winner of Nominate A Smile. A national competition that recognises kind acts in local communities.

Joshua Forster (6) has been chosen by the Oral Health Foundation as part of Nominate a Smile – the charity’s search for a special person who can bring a smile to someone’s face.

Joshua was nominated by his Auntie Ainsley for his passion and enthusiasm for providing fun for dogs and their owners on their daily walks.

To do this, Joshua made Josh’s Dog Boxes, which sees boxes filled with dog toys placed across a number of his local parks.

Joshua with one of his Dog Boxes

All toys are free for owners and their four-legged companions to use. All Josh asks is that the owner put them back after they were finished so that other dogs could enjoy them too.

When asked about his love for dogs, Joshua says: “They are so cute, and I love to play with them.

“When I see dogs having fun and playing with the toys I have put out, it makes me feel really happy.”

Joshua’s fondness for pooches started when he first met his Auntie’s two dogs, Rex the Puggle and a French Bulldog and a Cockapoo called Luna.

Joshua loves taking them out for walks with his Auntie.  However, he couldn’t help but feel sad for the other dogs they encountered who were missing out on fetch or tug o’ war. 

 That’s why he decided to create Josh’s Dog Boxes.

To protect others from coronavirus, Joshua has temporarily taken his boxes away.  However, he is keen to figure out a way to get them back out there once it is safe to do so.

Nominate A Smile is part of National Smile Month – a campaign by the Oral Health Foundation that raises awareness about the importance of a healthy smile.

As his reward, Joshua has won a Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush which is on his way now to him.  It will be his first electric toothbrush and he is reportedly “very excited” to try it out.

Joshua’s mother, Natalie, is quite rightly delighted for him.

Natalie says: “I am extremely proud of Joshua winning an award for Nominate A Smile.  It shows that small acts of kindness can be demonstrated by people of any age.”

When asked about his brushing habits, Natalie says: “Joshua is a good brusher and needs no push to take care of his teeth.  He has his own daily routine that he sticks to very well.”

Dr Nigel Carter OBE, chief executive of the Oral Health Foundation, adds: “There’s no doubt that Joshua’s small act has already brought joy to a number of dogs and their owners and will hopefully continue to do so once it’s safe to put the boxes out again.

“We also hope he continues to be a top brusher and enjoys his well-earned Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush.”

The Oral Health Foundation is keen to help others achieve a healthy smile and has been supporting thousands of people during lockdown.

The charity has been raising awareness about how to maintain good oral health at home, while access to a dentist remains limited.

For a healthy mouth, the Oral Health Foundation recommends twice-daily toothbrushing with a fluoride toothpaste, using mouthwash and interdental brushes once a day, and cutting down on sugar.

The Oral Health Foundation’s Dental Helpline is available for anybody who needs advice for the health of their mouth.  Contact the Dental Helpline on 01788 539 780 or [email protected].