Julie Wilkerson Access

Julie Wilkerson Access

AN empty nester is filling the void in her life by rekindling her love of art.

Mature student Julie Wilkerson, of Darlington, has brushed herself down to return to the classroom after seeing her daughter head off to university.

“I was at such a low ebb,” said Julie, 51, who has enrolled at Cleveland College of Art & Design.

“I’d just gone through a divorce, my daughter had moved away and I was left with an empty nest and an empty heart.

“I really needed to focus on something just for me so when I heard about CCAD’s taster days I went along to see what it was all about.”

Julie, a former high-end fashion retailer, in the West End of London, enrolled on the college’s Access to Higher Education course, designed for mature students aged 19 plus.

The one-year 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 fashion, illustration, interior design, fine art, applied arts, entertainment design crafts, textiles and surface design and  film and TV production.

“I never thought I’d be back doing higher education at 51, but I’ve loved every minute of it,” said Julie.

“Everyone is so friendly and the tutors are extremely supportive. I’ve found it all very therapeutic and healing. It’s also very challenging but it’s given me a massive personal sense of achievement and really changed my life for the better.”

Julie is now planning to emulate her daughter by getting her own degree by enrolling on CCAD’s BA (Hons) textile and surface design course.

For more information on joining the Access to HE course in Art, please call 01642 288888.