Com­ing on leaps and bounds

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - HERALD & POST -

A SALTBURN cou­ple who both lost their jobs when SSI UK closed have leapt into a new ca­reer, thanks to their daugh­ter’s pas­sion for bal­let.

It seemed like the “end of the world” for Anne-Marie and John Tyler, when the fam­ily was dealt the dev­as­tat­ing blow of los­ing TWO in­comes in one go.

The cou­ple had clocked up 17 years at the Red­car steel­works be­tween them - but their re­dun­dancy turned out to be the “start of a new and ex­cit­ing ad­ven­ture”.

John set up a plas­ter­ing busi­ness at first, but it was daugh­ter Amelia’s love of danc­ing that gave him his light­bulb idea - por­ta­ble “pro-stretch” equip­ment and bal­let bar­res for use by dancers on the go.

Now the cou­ple is man­u­fac­tur­ing their prod­ucts with a lo­cal en­gi­neer­ing com­pany, and has a grow­ing base of cus­tomers.

Amelia, a bud­ding bal­le­rina who has won a schol­ar­ship to a Birm­ing­ham school, had com­plained there was a lack of good equip­ment for prac­tis­ing at home.

The “pro-stretch”, an ad­justable mount for stretch­ing mus­cles, was born - and in­ter­est from fel­low dancers and a lo­cal dance shop soon fol­lowed.

Anne-Marie, 37, said: “The re­sponse to the pro stretch and bal­let bar­res has been fan­tas­tic and I’m re­ally pleased to be in a po­si­tion to launch the web­site and reach a much wider cus­tomer base.

“It seemed like the end of the world when we both lost our jobs but it has been the start of a new and ex­cit­ing ad­ven­ture.”

Anne-Marie worked at SSI for more than 12 years in dif­fer­ent de­part­ments in­clud­ing HR, records, fa­cil­i­ties and the vis­i­tor cen­tre while John, 44, worked for five years as a shift fit­ter en­gi­neer.

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