Angela Lee always wanted to be a hairdresser when she left Dyke House School in the early 1990s, but was persuaded by her parents to follow a different career path.
Angela found herself working in the insurance sector, progressing through the ranks to become President of the Insurance Institute of Middlesbrough.
But after admitting she didn’t find her role challenging, she reverted back to her original plan and now – at the age of 41 – is looking to expand her hairdressing business.
Angela said: “I think I just grew bored of working in an industry that was becoming increasingly bureaucratic due to new rules and regulations.
“It no longer interested me, and money isn’t everything. In the end I decided to go back to college to get my hairdressing qualifications, and I’ve never looked back.”
She breezed through the Level 1, 2 and 3 Hairdressing courses at Hartlepool College of Further Education, gaining the skills she needed to be a superb stylist.
However, her years of business experience also fired a desire to find success as an entrepreneur, and so she took over existing salon Pat Watson Hairdressing in January this year.
The business really took off, and now Angela is preparing to expand the Hartlepool salon and rebrand it House of Lee Hairdressing & Beauty, with one full-time and two part-time stylists.
Adult Leaners Week runs until Friday, and Hartlepool College has used the campaign to highlight the amount of people within the campus who have enrolled on adult education programmes.
The College was recently included the top 10 per cent of all English colleges for adult course performance, and last year saw over 400 of its students apply for Higher Education courses.
College principal Darren Hankey said: “It’s a fact that many adults are put off by the thought of going back into education.
“Some think that they’re too old, or they don’t have the time or a way to fit it into their lives.
“Others worry that it will be too expensive, or like going back to school. In fact, returning to education is actually a lot easier than many people might think, with friendly and flexible support on hand at every stage to guide people through the process.”
The College will be holding a special Adult and Higher Education Open Evening on Thursday, June 18, from 5.30pm-8pm.
Visitors can explore the wide range of courses on offer to them, as well as checking out examples of adult learners who have fulfilled their ambitions by enrolling on HCFE courses.
Refreshments will be available, and no appointment is necessary.