Meet the Team
Nigel Williams - GDC: 63560
General Dental Practitioner
Nigel Williams qualified from Birmingham University and King’s College London in 1988.
He first started practicing at Hay-on-Wye as an associate in 1990, becoming a partner in 1995 and practice owner in 2003.
Since selling the practice in 2007, Nigel has worked as an associate at Hay Dental Centre, and provides a wide range of dental treatments in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
In his spare time, Nigel sings with and accompanies Talgarth Male Voice. He is also an avid follower of rugby at local and international level.
Nigel works at the practice Tuesday – Friday.
Johannes Cornelius Dirksen Van Schalwyk - GDC: 73211
General Dental Practitioner
Originally from South Africa, JC attended the Pretoria University and obtained a degree in Microbiology and Physiology. In 2005 JC moved to the UK and owned a practice in Broadstairs, a lovely seaside town in Kent where he obtained his Aesthetic qualifications in Botox and Dermal Fillers. During the lockdown of 2020, like a lot of people, he took stock of what he wanted out of life and decided to have a major change and bought a property in Wales as he's have always been drawn to the Welsh country side and its beauty. JC was thrilled to be given the opportunity to work at Hay on Wye Dental centre. He works at the practice on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Away from work, JC loves going for long walks, hiking, canoeing and generally enjoy keeping fit and healthy. He loves good food, hence the need for a lot of exercise! He is an avid fan of Rugby, especially when South Africa plays. He also loves the fact that Wales is a great rugby nation.
Gareth Thomas – GDC: 153153
Gareth graduated from Cardiff Dental School in 2008. Upon graduation, he completed vocational training in the South Wales Valleys where his passion for endodontics developed. Following MFDS examinations, Gareth completed a year-long advanced endodontic course at the University of Warwick followed by a 3-year MSc in Clinical Endodontics at University of South Wales.
Gareth has considerable experience in the management of referred patients requiring complex endodontic treatment. He has worked as Speciality Dentist in Endodontics at The Royal London Dental Institute & Clinical Lecturer in Endodontics at Cardiff University. His knowledge, experience & clinical expertise has been recognised by completing Membership in Endodontics examinations at the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh & Membership in Restorative Dentistry Endodontics examinations at the Royal College of Surgeons England. He is one of few dentists with both qualifications working in the UK.
Rachel Hope – GDC: 73103
General Dental Practitioner
Rachel has been qualified for over 20 years. She has worked in hospital, Community and general dental practice settings gaining experience in all aspects of dentistry.
Rachel enjoys providing general dentistry in a relaxed and friendly environment. She combines her role in Hay with working as a Speciality Doctor in Restorative Dentistry at Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil, a post she has held for over 10 years.
In her spare time Rachel enjoys spending time with her family on their small holding near Brecon and walking her dog.
Rachel works at the practice on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Mitesh Badiani – GDC: 66934
Mitesh has been placing implants since 1999 and is multi-disciplined in the use of various dental implant systems. In 2015, Mitesh was awarded National Dentist of the Year at the Dental Awards and also Dentist of the Year at the Primary Care Awards for his clinical expertise, commitment to patient care and his dedication to teaching and mentoring colleagues around the country.
Mitesh was recognised with a life-time achievement award in 2014 for his dedication and charity work with medically discharged Royal Marines. He works at the practice once a month on a Thursday.
Thomas Olivelle - GDC: 76550
Dr Olivelle qualified at Guys Hospital, London and worked part-time as a Clinical Assistant in the Oral Maxillofacial department at St John’s Hospital, Chelmsford whilst establishing his own practice in St Albans. During this time, he also gained his fellowship of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists (FICOI).
Dr Olivelle takes the utmost pride in his work and adopts a professional and caring manner. He is dedicated to providing the very best quality of dental care and treatment and has a keen interest in Oral Surgery, in particular all aspects surrounding the placement of dental implants, including perio-surgery (the gums), and oral enhancement/reconstruction. He regularly attends courses worldwide to ensure that he stays on top of the knowledge in the advancement of dentistry and is currently in the process of obtaining an MSc in Implantology. He works at the practice twice a month on a Friday.
Helen Cook – GDC: 5048
Helen qualified from RADC Aldershot in 1996 and has been working in mainly private practice since.
Helen recently relocated to Herefordshire from Berkshire, to fulfil a life long dream of living in the country and owning some land. (Pygmy goats coming soon!)
Outside of work Helen enjoys walking the dogs and gardening.
Helen works at the practice on Mondays
Christine Greensmith – GDC: 104102
Chris qualified as a dental hygienist from Cardiff University in 2006 having previously nursed for over 11 years. Chris has worked as a staff hygienist in Special Needs, Conscious Sedation, Ortho and Periodontal clinics at Cardiff Dental Hospital and also in general dental practice. Chris joined the practice in 2013.
For relaxation Chris and her husband love walking, every year taking on the challenge of a long-distance path, the coast to coast being their favourite. Chris also enjoys taking on new challenges a recent one has been dry stone walling at their 250-year-old property. Family means everything to Chris and looks after her 2year old Grandson whenever she can.
Chris works at the practice on a Tuesday.
Linda Crook – GDC: 2660
Linda qualified as a dental hygienist from Leeds Dental School in 1983 having previously trained as a dental nurse. She has worked primarily in general dental practice but has experience of both the hospital and community dental services.
Linda joined the team at Hay in 2016 when she and her husband moved to the area. Prior to this she lived and worked in Devon for over 30 years.
When not working Linda enjoys walking her golden retriever Bailey and discovering new areas of the Welsh countryside.
Linda works in the practice on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Julia Cooper - GDC: 145596
Julia qualified as a dental nurse in 2002 and gained her Radiography Qualification in 2018, she has worked in general dentistry and as a specialist Implant nurse.
Julia joined Hay-on-Wye in 2016 and progressed from Senior Nurse to Practice Manager in February 2019.
In her spare time Julia enjoys spending time with her family and horse riding.
Cath trained as a dental nurse back in the early 1990’s and took a career break after having her daughter.
Cath joined the practice in 2017 and works full time as receptionist.
In her free time Cath enjoys reading, swimming and spending time with her family and friends.
Kaz Bennett – GDC: 250537
Kaz qualified as a dental nurse (NEBDN) in 2014.
Kaz joined the practice in 2015, in that time she has achieved her Radiography Certificate and has recently passed her impression taking qualification
Sam Bowen – GDC: 269310
Sam qualified as a dental nurse in 2017 after completing her training at the practice.
She has a keen interest in Implant Dentistry and has recently gained her Radiography Qualification.
In her spare time Sam enjoys walking, swimming and is a club leader of Golden Valley Young Farmers.
Eleanor Walczak – GDC: 288300
Eleanor joined the practice as a Trainee Dental Nurse in 2018 and qualified in 2020.
When not at work Eleanor spends her leisure time going to the gym, running, climbing and exploring the surrounding countryside.
Clare Baldwin – GDC 118750
Clare originally started working at the practice in 2001 when owned by Nigel Williams and has recently returned to dental nursing in April 2021 after a 3 year break.
Clare gained the NVQ level 3 Oral Health Qualification in 2004 and is now expanding her knowledge by taking the Dental Nurse Impression Taking course.
Outside work Clare is a keen horse rider having previously worked and owned horses, she also helps run a small holding with her partner and son.