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Esports tutor knocks up makeshift walking stick for student in need - and still has all his fingers!

Despite only being armed with a GCSE in Engineering, York College Esports tutor Tyler Wilson has insisted he was “just doing his job” after knocking up a makeshift walking stick for a student in need.

Tyler jumped to action and broke off from his own PGCE studies after learning that his first-year student Lucifer Vivian’s stick had gone missing from College’s second-floor café, leaving the 16-year-old without the walking aid he needs due to a serious knee injury.

With his rudimentary joinery skills and an inventive approach, Tyler spent four hours in our Woodwork Workshop and used anything he could get his hands on – including an old broom handle, kitchen roll and lots of tape – to put together the stick.

It is a gesture that Lucifer and his mum Joscelyn Croke, who is also a College student on our Level 3 Professional Cookery (Professional Chef/Patisserie) course, will never forget and, while the original stick was found on Campus the next day, Tyler’s improvised replacement now takes pride of place in the family home and is always there to be called upon as a spare.

“The stick now takes up a special place in my bedroom and I will always cherish it, even if I never have to use it,” Lucifer pointed out.

A grateful Joscelyn, who also uses a walking stick after a car crash left her with a fractured backbone, damaged internal organs and fractured ribs, added: “Tyler rang us up the night that the stick went missing and said he was really, really sorry to hear what Lucifer had been through and told us he was in the woodwork department right then making him a stick, which was amazing.

“He did tell us that he might not have any fingers left, but he went above and beyond and put himself out for Lucifer and you very rarely see that type of kindness anymore. We were blown away by it and, if more people were like him, the world would be a wonderful place.”

A modest Tyler was quick to play down the selfless nature of his intervention and simply declared: “It’s my job. Your job as a teacher is to take care of the students and look after them, which means safeguarding and supporting them.

“I failed in my job when I didn’t notice that Lucifer didn’t have his stick in the first place, so the least I could do was repair the situation. That’s what any tutor should do – I just did what I’m paid to do, and I think that anybody would do the same or I hope they would.”

On how far he was out of his comfort zone making the stick, Tyler confessed: “It was a unique situation but you just have to adapt to it. I did a GCSE in Engineering, but that’s about it in terms of my joinery skills.

“The stick is literally the end of a broom handle with some kitchen roll on top for something to hold onto and I tried to sand the bottom down so it was as level as possible and wouldn’t damage the floors. I did think about putting some silicone on the bottom, but they didn’t have any in the workshop.

“It took me about four hours. It would have probably taken somebody who knew what they were doing 20 minutes, but I know absolutely nothing.

“There was a lot of trial and error before I found a broom in the woodwork shop that I asked if I could chop the end off.”

Lucifer now keeps the stick that Tyler made him at home

Tyler’s actions meant that first-year student Lucifer would have been able to attend the department’s trip to the Newcastle Anime and Gaming Con event, regardless of whether his original stick had been found or not.

He has needed a stick ever since he was the victim of a violent, pre-meditated and unprovoked attack by three fellow pupils as he walked home from Market Weighton School and was “left for dead on the side of the road”.

Both Lucifer and Joscelyn had planned to go to East Riding College in Beverley, which is nearer to home, to pursue their Further Education pathways but circumstances meant they opted for a 90-minute, 50-mile round commute to Sim Balk Lane instead.

“I was meant to be going to Beverley because it’s closer and easier to get to, but I was told a week before I was due to start that they were going to shut down their Esports course because not enough people had enrolled,” Lucifer explained. “We then looked around to see where did Esports and learned that York was the only one within a reasonable distance.”

Joscelyn worked as a chef for 15 years but is now considering retraining as a teacher.

“I initially applied for Beverley but they were only offering straightforward cheffing and I’ve always wanted to do cakes and desserts,” she explained of her decision to join her son on the same Campus. “We have found the College and people who work here to be absolutely amazing.”

Tyler, meanwhile, is enjoying having Lucifer in his classroom, too.

“Lucifer is incredibly eccentric,” he smiled. “That’s definitely his primary characteristic, but he’s also got a heart of gold and is incredibly sincere about things.

“He comes into class with a very unique set of experiences and explores different perspectives in assignments, which is really refreshing to read.”