A FORMER bus driver who had to stop working after suffering a spinal injury has used his first passion to turn his life around.

Mark Crellin, 39, sustained serious injuries after a fall in 2011 which saw him have to give up his job and left him needing crutches.

Thanks to encouragement from his wife, Stefanie, Mark, from Clock Face, re-entered education and gained a BA degree in filmmaking, his lifelong passion.

St Helens Star:

Mark Crellin

Mark, a student at The Northern Film School in Leeds, is directing a short film which is loosely inspired by the story of D-Day veteran Bernard Jordan who, in 2015, sneaked out of a care home in Hove, Sussex to go to Normandy for the 70th anniversary commemorations.

Mark's film, Walter, will form part of his studies and he also plans to later submit it to festivals.

"I was really depressed, it really got to me and I was moping on the couch," said Mark, who is set to graduate with an MA later this year.

"Stef said: 'What do you want to do? What's your dream?' She said you've got to go to college, haven't you.

"After 15 or 16 years out of education I went to Edge Hill University.

"It has been massive for me, I was really sad and down and it is helping my confidence as well.

"For me a film isn't just something to watch, it is an experience. I get really drawn into the story and character arcs.

"We start filming in five weeks and we are doing a Crowdfunding campaign and have a full cast. Jimmy Frost, who has been in Peaky Blinders, is playing Walter. We have cast a few local actors up in Leeds.

"We tackle the subject of homelessness of veterans. It's disgusting and I want to help with that in this film."