Eleanor Hill is quite the celebrity in the UK's optician community. This professional dispensing optician is currently the youngest in all of the UK. Hill, only 19 years old, has proven herself a very capable dispensing optician at Benjamin Opticians in England's northeastern town of Skipton.
When news of Hill's achievement reached the General Optical Council of the UK, they immediately called to congratulate Hill officially. Hill is quite overwhelmed by all of this fanfare, and she told reporters that she is just happy to go into work every day and help patients with questions or concerns.
The owner of Benjamin Opticians, Liz Ellis, told reporters that Hill has always had the maturity of a full-fledged professional. Ellis hired Hill when she was only 15 years old as a Saturday girl. Every week without fail, Hill would come into the shop to clean frames, sweep around the store, and do other tasks around the building.
It didn't take long before Ellis discovered that Hill had great potential. Hill was always asking questions about different frames and contact lenses. Her appetite for learning seemed insatiable. So, Ellis quickly put Hill in a professional dispensing optician course.
The course took three years of study at the Association of British Dispensing Opticians' (ABDO) College at Godmersham Park, Kent. Unsurprisingly, Hill passed all of her exams with high marks. Upon graduation, she was instantly offered the job of a dispensing optician at Benjamin Opticians.
Eleanor Hill describes herself as a "shy girl," but others see in her a determined, positive, and inquisitive young woman. Everyone has said that Hill has a maturity that well surpasses her years, and customers who come into Benjamin Opticians are always pleased with Hill's positive demeanor and intelligence.
When asked by interviewers why she wanted to become a dispensing optician, Hill recounted tales of visiting Benjamin Opticians with her mother. Hill's mum wears contact lenses, and occasionally she would have to get them adjusted. Whenever Hill visited, she would ask optician David Benjamin, who is now retired, all about various aspects of glasses and contact lenses. Hill always remembers the time Dr. Benjamin let her look through a slit lamp. One could say, perhaps, it was "love at first sight."
Hill initially only thought she would join the crew at Benjamin Opticians as a part of her work experience. But, as she told reporters, Ellis groomed her into becoming the professional dispensing optician she is today. Hill is just happy to have a secure career with a team of fellow employees that she has great respect for.
When Jo Underwood, the Principal of ABDO, was told of Hill's accomplishment, she said that she was pleased, however she was not surprised. Underwood said that Hill was always destined to succeed. Hill, Underwood notes, was a star student who always made it to class on time and showed great commitment to her work.
For those who don't know, dispensing opticians are tasked with helping clients find the right pair of eyeglasses. They have to take the information from a patient's ophthalmologist and optometrist, and then they have to help a patient decide which design is best for them.
When asked what she intends to do next, Hill said that she plans on learning the skills to become a Contact Lens Optician. Hill joked that one day she may be the one fitting her own mum's contact lenses.