Leanne Barwick, a dental hygiene therapist with Integrated Dental Holdings (IDH), was crowned the Young Hygienist of the Year at the 2014 Dental Hygiene and Therapy Awards. She was announced as the winner and presented with the award at our glamorous awards ceremony at The Barbican Centre on 24 January. Leanne has worked at Love your Smile Surbiton, an IDH practice, for four years.
Commenting on her win, Leanne says: ‘I’m so excited to have won this award. It’s brilliant to be recognised for my work. The nominations were anonymous so I was surprised and delighted to even be nominated for the Young Hygienist of the Year Award. It’s such an honour to win this and I hope to live up to it over the next year. After working as a dental hygienist for four years, I still love it as much as ever and nothing is more rewarding than helping patients improve their confidence or just feel happier about their smile.’
Against the odds
Leanne overcame the odds to fulfil her ambition of becoming a dental hygienist. When she found out that her family did not have the means to support her through university, she paid her own way by working at a branch of Tesco from the age of 16 until her final year. She also secured a place on the Dental Hygiene and Therapy course at King’s College University without any previous experience, joining the course straight after her A-levels.
Terry Scicluna, chief executive at IDH, says: ‘We are very proud of Leanne. She is an exceptional hygienist and thoroughly deserves this award. I am sure that she will continue to excel this year. We are delighted to be supporting Leanne as she trains in facial aesthetics and her ambitions for the future are inspiring.’
Leanne was surprised with a congratulatory gift basket containing chocolate, gifts and flowers by Terry Scicluna who visited her practice on 7 February.
Leanne will soon be realising a long-held ambition to learn medical tattooing and facial aesthetics, as she will start a facial aesthetics course run by the Nouveau Beauty Group in June funded by IDH.
The facial aesthetics course will allow Leanne to give eyebrows and lash lines to cancer patients and people with alopecia, as well as disguise scars and birthmarks.
She was inspired to get into dentistry by her mother, who was in a house fire when she was just six years old and remained in hospital for several years. She would eventually like to work one day a week in a hospital treating cancer patients and burn victims. She would also like to give her mum eyebrows and lips to restore her confidence.