A WAGON driver who suffered a permanent disability following an industrial accident is focusing on a new career as a photographer.
Bob Peel, of Stockton, detached two ligaments in his ankle and ripped apart his cartilage in a freak work accident. But despite extensive reconstructive surgery he was left with osteoarthritis in his left leg forcing him to give up his job.
“All I’d ever done was manual work,” said Bob, 38, of Stockton. “Now I didn’t have any strength in my left leg so I couldn’t do any driving or heavy lifting.”
Recovering at home, looked after by his partner Rachel, Bob started to become withdrawn and depressed.
“I couldn’t see any reason to get up in the mornings; I had nothing to focus on or work towards,” said Bob.
Spurred on by his partner, a former student at Cleveland College of Art & Design, Bob decided to contact the specialist arts college to see if there were any courses suitable for him.
“I’d always had an interest in photography,” said Bob. “I got my first camera when I was three and used to take photographs of absolutely everything and anything.”
Bob heard about the college’s Access to Higher Education course designed for mature students aged 19 plus and signed up.
“The access course has been ideal,” he said. “It has taught me to draw again, improve my composition and the way I look at things which in turn has made me a better photographer.
“I’m now ready to take the step up to the degree course at CCAD’s Hartlepool campus, as I feel much more confident in my own abilities.”
The one-year access course offers an opportunity to gain a qualification to progress to a wide range of degrees and higher education.
It covers a range of subject areas including drawing, textiles, 2D and 3D art, digital arts, art history and study skills and can lead to career pathways at university, including photography, fashion, illustration, interior design, fine art, applied arts, entertainment design crafts, textiles and surface design and film and TV production.