Pete Skea, National Star learner, 2000–2003
Pete Skea, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, had one key reason for coming to National Star in 2000 – to learn to be independent.
Pete admits the early days were difficult. He was terribly homesick and was also surprised by the level of disability of some of his fellow students.
‘At school there was only one or two people, including myself, who had disabilities. At National Star everyone had a disability and some were far more complex than me.’ – Pete
Pete, who studied Information Technology, was one of the first students to benefit from the new Karten CTEC (Computer aided Training Education and Communication) Centre which opened in 2001. He soon grew in confidence and took an active part in campus life, becoming involved with the Student Union. For the first time in his education, Pete could integrate swimming and physiotherapy into his timetable.
‘Swimming is the only exercise I can do but it has always been a challenge because most pools do not have hoists.’– Pete
To further develop his life skills and taste for independence, Pete spent his last year at Overton House – National Star’s off–campus accommodation in Cheltenham.
Pete’s experience at National Star was to shape his future as a disability campaigner. He is now a Director of Disability Cornwall, a former Vice Chair of Enable in Cornwall Ltd and in 2013 he was elected to Bodmin Town Council.