Burnley mum of five goes from behind the lines to behind the lens as she focuses on new career on civvy street

Army veteran and mum of five Vicky Catlow is focusing on a new career as a photographer.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 1:11 pm

Vicky joined up at the age of 16 and served for ten-and-a-half years, half as a combat medical technician serving in Kosovo, where she provided vital medical services as the war ravaged country slowly started to re-build after the conflict, to the second half working in recruitment.

Vicky said: "I was 19 at the time I was in Kosovo and the role was very varied, from driving tanks and guard duty to ambulance and medical work."

Vicky, who studied public services at Accrington and Rossendale College, left the army as a combat HR specialist, only to re-join after taking a 13 year break to have her family and pursue other ambitions. She became a a recruit mentor for the Army reserves running the pop up shop in the town centre and mentoring recruits through from application to finishing their training.

Vicky in Kosovo at the age of 19

Medically discharged from the army in September Vicky had to find herself a new career so she decided to dust off her ambitions to be a photographer.

She said: "I have always been interested in photography and from being young always had a camera with me.

"I have hundreds of photographs I have taken over the years."

Vicky, who was a student at the former Walshaw High School for Girls in Burnley, completed level one and two photography at Burnley College and she also invested in private lessons to hone her digital skills.

Vicky and Ryan with their children ( back row, from left right) Harry, Jaylen and Lily and (front) Dexter and Aiden.

And she chose her hometown to open her own studio, Vicky Leigh Photography in Grimshaw Street.

Vicky and her husband, Ryan, have been together since 2017 but were classmates at Heasandford Primary School in Burnley. They went their separate ways and got back in touch after old school photos were posted on social media by a former classmate.

Vicky is mum to Harry (14) and nine-year-old twins Jaylen and Aiden and Ryan's children are Lily (13) and Dexter who is seven.