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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

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Originally from South Africa, JC attended the Pretoria University originally obtaining a degree in Microbiology and Physiology. He proceeded with his education by conducting a year of breast cancer research. This was followed up by a degree in Dentistry, graduating in 1997. He then moved to sunny Margate in Kent starting his career in Dentistry and by 2001 began work in the private sector. By 2005 JC owned a private practice in Broadstairs. During his tenure, he obtained qualifications in facial aesthetics and attended Tipton Training in London for Implant placement. In 2013 JC travelled to Sao Paulo in Brazil to further his skills in implant placement and sinus lifts. The practice in Kent is still open and currently focuses on placing implants, cosmetic dentistry (teeth straightening) and aesthetic treatments. All of which JC is extremely passionate about and thoroughly enjoys delivering these services at Hay on Wye. 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 countryside 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 enjoys 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.


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.

Simon Hegarty – GDC : 81511

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Dentist: Special Interest in Endodontics

Simon graduated from University of Wales College of Medicine in 2002, completing his vocational training in Newbridge. He then moved to Ireland and spent 5 years in private practice before returning to work in South Wales and Bristol. He has a wealth of experience in providing both NHS and private practice over the past 20 years, however he is now focused on a special interest in root canal treatments and entering his final year at the University of Plymouth to complete his masters degree in Endodontics. Simon is a Clinical Advisor with the General Dental Council who thoroughly enjoy’s working in dentistry and providing root canal treatments to his patients.

Simon currently lives in Cardiff with his wife and three children who he absolutely loves to spend time with, enjoys a bit of rugby and also visiting the coast when he can.


Aseena Mehar Aniz Bin – GDC : 300355

Dental Hygienist/Therapist

Aseena qualified with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) at the Rajiv Gandhi University, India in 2010. She then went on to obtain a Masters in Advanced General Practice (MSC) from Ulster University, Northern Ireland in 2022..

Aseena is looking forward to work as a dentist in the UK once she has completed the ORE. Meanwhile she registered as a Dental Hygienist/Therapist in the UK. Aseena joined the practice in June 2022.


In her spare time, Aseena enjoys meeting her family & friends, she also loves travelling.

Aseena works at the practice on Monday, Tuesday, Wendesday & Thursday.


Julia Cooper - GDC: 145596

Practice Manager

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 Dailley


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.


Leah Gibbons

Part-Time Receptionist

Leah joined the practice in January 2022 and works as a Part-Time Receptionist. Leah previously worked at a local nursery as a nursery practitioner.


In her free time Leah enjoys spending time with her young family and shares an interest in her partners farm.


Sam Bowen – GDC: 269310

Lead Dental Nurse

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.


Mike Vane – GDC: 254693

Dental Nurse

Mike joined the practice in March 2023, he qualified in NVQ level 3 Dental Nurse in 2014 in Oxford, and completed further courses in running clinics on delivering better oral health.


In his spare time Mike likes spending time with friends and family. He is a fan of Rugby, Motorsports and boxing. 

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Rachel Ralph - GDC: 313683 

Dental Nurse

Rachel joined the practice as a Trainee Dental Nurse in January 2022 and qualified in October 2023.

In her free time Rachel enjoys spending time with her horses, dog and other animals, she also enjoys playing rugby and is a member of the Gwernyfed Ladies Rugby Team.


Sarah Eckley

Trainee Dental Nurse

Sarah joined the practice in January 2023, she is currently studying the National Diploma in Dental Nurse Course (NEBDN).

In her spare time Sarah enjoys horse riding, walking her dogs, breeding pygmy goats and also spending times with friends and family. She also enjoys helping on the family farm and pony stud.

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