Two years ago, he was managing a couple of care homes, now a TyneMet College student has fulfilled a long-term ambition to own his own floristry business.

When 44 year old Kevin Coulson decided to take a year out from work, he came along to TyneMet to sign-up for a course in Horticulture and Floristry. The College offers a big range of full and part-time courses as well as day-long events to suit those who want to go into business or simply learn more as a hobby.

A year later and Kevin has qualified and opened his new business - KVS Floral Design - in Old Durham Road, Gateshead.

Kevin said: "I should have done this years ago. It's absolutely essential to train as a florist when you're going into business. TyneMet offers an excellent course with tutors who've all worked in the industry."

There is one slight disappointment for Kevin now he's finished his course. This year, the College has created a brand new classroom and retail outlet, called 'Flourish'. Students get hands-on experience of working in the retail world. Flowers and accessories are on sale to the College community and the general public.

Kevin said: "The new facility looks fantastic; I would think myself very lucky to study here if I was starting the course this year."

Course tutor, Tina Reddel said: We're delighted that we've helped Kevin to fulfil his dream. We offer courses for anyone else who may be thinking of a career change or who simply wants to learn more about floristry."