Dundee model Elaine, 37, delivers £40k of free dental care to poor folk off African coast

Elaine Harris with some of the children at her pop-up clinic on Sal island in Cape Verde

A model from Dundee has helped provide nearly £40,000 worth of optical and dental care to underprivileged people living off the coast of Africa.

Elaine Harris, 37, set up a pop-up clinic on Sal island, in Cape Verde, along with retired dentist Stuart Little and optician Wendy Wagner.

Clinica Del Mar opened on January 17, and for the following two weeks the trio provided local adults and children with free dental care and eye testing worth an estimated £38,242.

Elaine, originally from Broughty Ferry, had previously lived on the island when she had supported a local charity, Castelos Do Sal, which provides a safe place for vulnerable youngsters.

Elaine, who went on to become a successful model after entering the UK’s Top Model competition, said: “I moved to the island in 2006 and lived there for four years.

“I came back to Scotland, where I had my daughter, Nina, but came back to visit regularly.

“It was then I started helping Castelos Do Sal donating items such as toothbrushes, pants and flip-flops.

“I decided then I wanted to do more for the kids and when I learned that none of the children had ever visited the dentist or optician, I knew I had to do something.”

She added that a visit to the dentist on the island costs about a quarter of the average monthly wage.

Elaine at work with dentist Stuart Little

Elaine began to fundraise for her idea, embarking on a 926-mile cycle from John o’ Groats to Lands End last summer.

She received of support from Stuart and Wendy, along with a number of other businesses.

She added: “The support I received was fantastic. Dentaid lent us the machines, Hyslop Optician’s donated all the frames for free and Capital Optics made all the lens for free.”

Over the fortnight, the team provided 50 adults and 180 children with dental treatment.

To make a donation visit facebook.com/ElaineHarrisPortfolio.

Since starting her modelling career, Elaine has gone on to be the face of campaigns in Europe, America and Australia.

She has also graced the catwalk at London Fashion Week and has modelled for several commercial clients, including Honda, and has been flown across Europe to star in campaigns for Italian fashion brand Fullstop and Swedish bike company Thule.

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