AN OPTICIAN who started out as a Saturday girl has been named Young Contact Lens Optician of the Year.

Eleanor Hill, who works at Benjamin Opticians in Newmarket Street, Skipton, picked up her award at the British Contact Lens Association awards and conference in Manchester.

The 21-year-old said: “It’s amazing to be recognised for what I have achieved and that the hard work has paid off.

"I didn’t expect to win, given that I know how tough it is and how stiff the competition was. I’m completely overwhelmed.”

Eleanor, who was just 14 years old when she started Saturday work at the opticians, quickly decided she wanted a career in optics and joined Benjamin's as a trainee.

When she qualified two years ago as a dispensing optician, she was the youngest in the UK.

She then decided to train in contact lens fitting, and passed all her exams first time.

Jonathon Bench, president of the BCLA, said: “We were delighted to name Eleanor Hill as the winner of the 2019 BCLA Young Contact Lens Practitioner of the Year. Hardworking and ambitious people such as Eleanor can become the next generation of pioneers, innovators and thought leaders in a profession that is always evolving, always adapting and always learning."

Eleanor added: “I am just at the start of my career, still with a lot to learn and even though I already have had many happy patients at Benjamin's I am always looking to learn additional specialisms, gain knowledge and develop new skills to be able to offer our patients the very latest technology contact lenses."