A dental hygienist and lecturer from Winchelsea was ‘honoured’ to receive an MBE for services to oral health.
Sarah Murray was given the nod in the New Year’s Honours list for her university teaching and charitable work as well as decades in dentistry.
The former Bexhill College student teaches at Queen Mary University of London and the University of Essex as well as organising dental services for the homeless at Christmas.
“It is a huge honour to receive recognition for being passionate about my profession and it is this, that I have strived to grow throughout my career,” she said.
Miss Murray, who also lives in London and was raised in Bexhill, said she ‘fell’ into the profession as she initially wanted to be a pharmacist after working at Boots in Devonshire Road.
But a dental nurse job at a St Leonards practice led her to training at Queen Mary, despite never wanting to become a dentist.
The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy, which she has been a member of for 27 years, nominated Miss Murray for her dedication to making a difference to peoples’ oral health and the continued progression of her profession.
The nomination detailed numerous ways she had furthered dentistry and said she was the ‘embodiment’ of a society member.
As well as her lecturing, Sarah helps organise a dental service for homeless people as part of Crisis at Christmas, giving up two days of the holidays every year.
Society president Helen Minnery said: “I have had the honour of knowing and working with Sarah for the past five years while on council and exec and believe she is an incredibly worthy recipient of her MBE.”
Sarah, 51, thought the Cabinet Office letter telling her about the award was for jury duty, so she was pleased for more than one reason when she opened it.
Her mother Maureen Anstey, from Little Common, said she was proud of her as she had worked really hard in her career.
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