John’s new start
Friday 4th July 2014 09:53 News Posted by Lisa B

Friends are rallying round a Glossop teacher suffering life-changing injuries following a freak accident.

Twelve months ago, Glossopdale Community College’s head of drama John Owen slipped and fell over a wall.

RALLYING ROUND: John Owen

The accident left him severely paralysed and facing months in hospital.

But despite major spinal injuries that have left John, 64, tetraplegic,  he is determined to rebuild his life.

John, who lives with his wife Janet in Glossop, wants to create a network of walks suitable for the disabled and then lead them.

A former volunteer Peak Park Ranger, John hopes to survey paths in and around the Longdendale Valley and the Peak District National Park and if they are suitable, put them in a brochure.

John is currently in a specialist recuperating unit, preparing him to return to his home in Glossop.

Speaking to the Chronicle,  Janet said: “John is really positive, he also wants to start a drama club for wheelchair users.”

To help him achieve his twin goals, the college has set up ‘Friends of John’ with the aim of raising £10,000 to buy him an all-terrain wheelchair.

Friends’ member and former colleague Hilary Wrigley, is helping organise an evening at the college’s Talbot Road site, at 7pm, next Friday (July 11), to start the fund raising.

She said: “To continue making a positive contribution to the community, John needs an all terrain wheelchair.”

Tickets for an evening of live music, which includes a hot supper and a promise auction, are £16 from the Talbot Road reception – a minimum £10 will go to help buy John his chair.

A teacher at the twin complex  college for more than 30 years, John played a major role behind the scenes in the college’s schools version of ‘Les Miserables’ which picked up several major accolades.

A friend said: “The purpose of the evening is for friends to get together and contribute.”

by David Jones