50 stories for 50 years

Celebrating 50 years

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Ruth's story

Ruth’s story

Ruth Dyga came to National Star (then The Star Centre) in 1969 as a 16–year–old. She was one of 40 residential students.

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Alison's story

Alison’s story

National Star taught Alison about her own potential, fun and freedom when she joined the college in 1979.

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Patrick's story

Patrick’s story

Patrick, who has athetoid cerebral palsy, was one of the first National Star students to control a personal communication device when he joined the college in 1985.

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Katy's story

Katy’s story

Katy always wanted to do something connected to art as a career, but she wasn’t sure what exactly that would be. Then she joined National Star in 1989.

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Mark's story

Mark’s story

A road accident left Mark with an acquired brain injury. In 1999 he decided to continue his education at National Star and access the therapies he needed.

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Becky's story

Becky’s story

Becky, who has cerebral palsy, came to National Star in 1998 to pursue her love of drama and increase her independence.

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Pete's story

Pete’s story

Pete’s experiences at National Star from 2000 to 2003 developed key life skills and helped shape his future as a disability campaigner.

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Joe's story

Joe’s story

National Star gave Joe the freedom to become his own person when he joined the college from 2011 to 2014.

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Jon's story

Jon Veal’s story

Jon experienced a brain injury when he was 19 years-old. He studied at National Star from 2010 to 2014 and now lives in Foundation House, our long-term accommodation in Gloucester.

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Kyle's story

Kyle's story

Kyle experienced serious physical injuries and a brain injury when he was involved in a car accident. Now he’s in his third year at National Star and living at Bradbury Gardens in Cheltenham.

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Alexander's story

After Alexander joined National Star he did something he had never done before – participated in his birthday celebrations and opened his presents.

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Elliott Roberts

Elliott's story

Elliott Roberts is visually impaired and needs help everywhere he goes, including short trips around National Star’s residence in Gloucester. But his friends and fellow learners Kristian Harrison and Steve Martin have come up with a unique solution.

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Owen's story

Owen's story

Owen has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, communicates yes and no through expressions and gestures and has limited control of his arms. A simple switch is now supporting him to make his own choices for the first time and have a voice.

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Victoria's story

Victoria's story

For Victoria, who has autism, going on a college trip was something her parents never believed would be possible. But thanks to National Star’s team of therapists, she went on to become one of 16 students to go skiing in Andorra.

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50 Stories - Lee Grimes

Lee's story

Lee used to pull his hoodie over his head so that people wouldn’t speak to him. After studying our Skills for Work programme he went on to win a national Young Enterprise Award for his incredible personal transformation.

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50 Stories - Nicki Freeman

Nicki's story

Nicki has had two lives – the one before her serious car accident and the one after. She joined National Star to regain her independence..

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Jon Brough's story

Jon Brough's story

A speech and language therapist who helped hundreds of National Star students find their voice has retired after 36 years. When Jon Brough arrived at National Star in 1981, it was just the beginning of the computer age.

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A royal visit

A royal visit

The Countess of Wessex gave National Star the royal seal of approval for enabling young people with disabilities to have a ‘limitless life’ rather than a ‘life with limits’.

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Andrea Riga

Andrea's story

Andrea believes that joining National Star in 1983 gave her the independence and opportunities to live a normal life.

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