A former steelworker is pursuing his dream of a new career in broadcasting.
James Atkinson was an electrical engineer at the SSI steelworks but has now decided to go in a different direction.
He is volunteering at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust where he works at the in-house radio station. He is also retraining to be a radio journalist.
To get more experience, he volunteers three days a week at the trust’s in-house radio station Radio Stitch, where he presents the breakfast show to listeners at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, and the University Hospital of North Tees.
James, 24, said: “It took a while to sink in – the closure was a complete shock and it is still hard to believe it has happened because it was such devastating news for so many workers and their families.”
He added: “I am now working a day a week at BBC Tees and three days a week at Radio Stitch, and am enrolled on a broadcast media course.
“To put a show or a news piece together and to hear the end result on the radio is a real buzz.”
James added: “I definitely plan on sticking around at Radio Stitch for some time.”
Radio Stitch manager Tony Beards praised James and said: “It’s been a pleasure to have James join our team of presenters. He’s been a real asset to the station and I am sure he will go far in his new career.”