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There are some amazing people here at Sheffield Dental School and the Charles Clifford Dental Hospital. We have taken the opportunity to share the fascinating stories behind some of the familiar faces! 

Gary Roche.jpg


'I was a police officer for 30 years before I became a Porter at The University nearly three years ago. I have seen more than my fair share of sad human stories, things that most people only see on TV. I have witnessed much of the worst aspects of human behaviour so that has, conversely, allowed me a better appreciation of the good in most people. In my time at here at the Uni I believe that I have found the antidote to all the bad things I have experienced previously. People at the Uni, staff, academics and students are very, very nice people. I see optimism, enthusiasm and a desire to learn. All positive human attributes which makes for a happier working environment for all of us. Outside of work I have always been a keen sportsman, mainly football and raquet games,but in recent years my passion is Golf. After my family, my real love is my faithful little Welsh Terrier who goes everywhere with me. I would describe myself as friendly and approachable but I have retained my antenna for spotting undesirable people!'


Dami Bakare.jpg



'It’s pretty funny, but the only time I really remember playing in the Olympics is when I look back at photos or videos taken while I was there. It actually feels like a dream I once had. But I’m so grateful, excited, glad, confused at how I managed to make it to that point. To be honest, when I started in volleyball, I never even thought about getting as far as I have. Then London won the bid for 2012, and suddenly a new door had opened. Training full time while being on a full time course was intense: 6am wake up for 7am weights before rushing back for 9am – 3pm clinics and lectures and then back again for 2-3 hours of training in the evenings. By the end of my 3rd year, my grades had taken a hit, my training progress had become stagnant and I was told it would be difficult for me to make the team if I continued with the way things were. After a lot of talking with the Dental school, they allowed me to take a few years out, just what I needed! That’s how I got to the Olympics pretty much.

Now I'm back my priorities are to graduate. I've been studying so long, my friends are surprised I'm finally in my last year. All good things must come to an end however. Where ever I end up going for DF1, if I can I'll train. I think my body needs some time off though!'

Mark Barber.jpg



‘Having originally qualified in Sheffield I returned very soon after as a staff member. Coming back to work here after being a student was strange at first, but everyone was very welcoming. There are still many staff members here who taught me as a student, but that number is dwindling slowly but surely as time ticks by! When I first started working as a dental tutor one of the third year students at the time came up to me on clinic and asked me to chart for them – she had mistaken me for a trainee dental nurse! In retrospect, I should have gone and charted for her just to see her face when she realised I was the tutor! Outside of work I spend time with my young family – Isaac is 6 years old and mad on football (Manchester United fan of course!) and Formula 1. Harriet is 4 years old and can’t decide between being a princess or a dentist when she grows up. I’ve suggested she should aim for the former, but if she hasn’t found a suitable prince by the time she leaves school, she should maybe settle for the latter! I’ve recently re-found my passion for running and take part in local 10k races. I’m doing the Sheffield half marathon along with some other familiar faces around the restorative department. We would really appreciate any donations to this very worthwhile cause, and it may even help motivate us all towards the finish line!' 

Heather D'Apice.jpg



‘I started working as a dental nurse in general practice and then worked for many years in the Community Dental Service before coming to CCDH. Some of my most rewarding times have been when working with dental students and we have shared lots of laughs along the way. One story that comes to mind involved a student who had a temporary partial denture whilst awaiting an implant on an upper central. As it was the 1st April we decided to play a joke on the tutor. We put a sachet of ketchup from the canteen on some wet gauze and got the student to bite on it. We then rushed him straight into a chair on clinic and I made reassuring noises quite loudly so that the tutor would hear. The tutor rushed straight over and the student said he had fallen on the stairs and knocked his tooth out. I was given a list of stuff to fetch from dispensary to treat our “patient” and another student was sent to look on the stairs for the lost tooth whilst being cursed at and asked if they’d learnt nothing from their time on paediatric dept. The poor student returned saying she had found the tooth, which she held out to the tutor. When he saw that “the tooth” was part of a denture, the penny dropped. It took a very red faced tutor quite a while to get over what we’d done but he eventually saw the funny side. I hope that I will continue to make such great memories while I am working at CCDH’




'Six years ago, I lost my grandad to prostate cancer, and my dad has recently been diagnosed. It is known as the silent killer, as symptoms show very late, and when they do, the cancer is usually too advanced for treatment to be successful. I would like to raise awareness of the disease in the hope that those who are at risk will get checked out and it can be caught early and treated successfully. To hear those terrible words that one of your loved ones has cancer is truly heartbreaking and really helps to put life into perspective.

So far, I have raised over £1,300 which will go towards funding research, treatment and support for those families that are affected. A fortnight ago I ran the Great North Run, prior to that I ran the Leeds and Sheffield half marathon and tomorrow is my biggest task yet, the Nottingham marathon. I'd love to raise more money for this fantastic cause, a cause I feel so passionately about. Thank you!'



I live two lives at the moment, one in Sheffield and one in London. During the week, my wife and I have quite a peaceful life in Sheffield. My wife, Sim, is a DCT in OMFS which is nice because we can sometimes have lunch together, but other times she works unsociable hours so we don’t see much of each other. On most Friday nights, you would find me driving down the M1 to London, where I work on Saturdays in practice and we spend time with family. Working 6 days a week, and the travelling involved can be quite draining, but I would not be able to do it if I was not so passionate about Dentistry. I think I’m a bit of a workaholic, but my wife is slowly changing my priorities! In fact, after our post in Sheffield, we will be moving to Singapore to experience a new way of life and travel Asia. All in the spirit of YOLO, of course.
What motivates me is being the best version of myself I can be. I’m quite in to positive thinking and the science of happiness. It’s probably what I love most about what I do; the opportunity to bring happiness to people. It is a real privilege to be a clinician.
To the dental students of Sheffield, my advice to you is to slowly but surely develop your passion and enthusiasm for Dentistry (or an aspect within it). I do not mean it should consume your life – that’s different. Why do I say this? I think happiness and success in ANY career will follow if you have passion for it. I know this is widely quoted, but Dr Martin Luther King smashed it when he said: “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”



'Christmas day will be spent with my family. I have three children, two boys of 18 and 16 years of age and a girl of 13 years. The eldest is now at university but I'm sure Christmas Day will be the same as every other year....well expect that the day may not start as early as it use to when the children were 'wee.' Present opening is followed by traditional Christmas lunch cooked by myself. The children's two Grannies will be with us as they have been every year we have been in Sheffield. My Mum being there will remind me of Christmas dinner when I was young, but nothing I cook tastes half as good as the meals she used to make! 
Here at Sheffield we are a very successful school. Next year I am hopeful for continued improvement in the quality of our teaching, increased research income and ending the school year with a great celebration for the final BDS and DH&T all passing their final exams first time. I would like to wish all staff and students a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, thank you each and everyone of you for all your work and enthusiasm! Enjoy this day spent with all your loved ones!' 

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