Big business for Apprentice winner Dr Leah but charity begins at home

Dr Leah Totton will return home for the Foyle Hospice Vintage Ladies Lunch in Derry.
Dr Leah Totton will return home for the Foyle Hospice Vintage Ladies Lunch in Derry.

She’s globally recognised as an expert in cosmetic skincare, is the business partner of Alan Sugar, and has her own clinic in the heart of London.

But for Derry doctor Leah Totton, there’s no place like home, especially when she’s helping a local charity like the Foyle Hospice.

Dr Leah flies back into Derry next weekend for a Ladies Lunch and Vintage Fair in aid of the local charity.

And for Leah there is no better cause.

“We lost a very dear family friend earlier this year,” said Leah, speaking from her London Clinic this week. “She died in the Foyle Hospice, aged just 38, she had two children. It was a tragic loss. It was the first time the Foyle Hospice had touched me. I don’t think there is anyone in the town who hasn’t been touched by the charity. My friend experienced amazing care there.

“I run my clinic, but I’m still a doctor and I do NHS work. I’m passionate about health and the healthcare service we have.

“But I’m from the city, that is where my roots are and I am passionate about supporting the Foyle Hospice.”

Dr Leah will be the guest speaker at the Ladies Lunch & Vintage Fair on Sunday 27th September 2015 at the City Hotel in Derry.

She will speak about her own journey into the world of business and afterwards there will be a Q&A compered by Sarah Travers.

“The clinic has been open 18 months now,” said Leah. “I’m so busy. We’re going from strength to strength and I’m hoping to open a new clinic in London in the future. I couldn’t be happier.”

Dr Leah Totton, winner of the 2013 series of The Apprentice.

Dr Leah Totton, winner of the 2013 series of The Apprentice.

Life for Leah has changed dramatically since she was announced as the business partner of Lord Sugar two years ago, and she says people no longer see her “just as the Apprentice winner.”

“I’m recognised as an expert in cosmetics,” she said. “I write a lot about my work in magazines and in the Evening Standard.

“We’re about to launch the Dr Leah skincare range ‘Dr Leah at home’

“In hindsight I have to say Lord Sugar was right about keeping the name Dr Leah, the name, as part of the brand is integral to the whole thing.

“But the business is more about opening clinics and treating people, it’s about building a brand that people can trust.”

Dr Leah says that multi millionaire Lord Sugar is anything but - a silent partner.

“Lord Sugar is not in the background,” she said. “He is more heavily involved that I thought he would be.

“He’s never had a treatment either. At every board meeting I pitch the idea of him coming into the clinic and opening a clinic in Northern Ireland. It hasn’t happened yet but it’s still in the big plan.”

Leah’s now looking forward to the new series of The Apprentice which airs this Autumn.

“I love the show,” she said.

Dr Leah will speak at the Foyle Hospice event which runs from 2p.m. - 5 p.m. on September 27 and includes a vintage tea lunch, vintage fashion show and there will be stalls to buy from.

Tickets cost £15 and are available at the Fundraising office at Culmore Road and the shop at Waterloo Place.