A FORMER police officer who was a victim of a drunk driver describes how a disability charity "gave his life back"

Stephen Hague, 57, was told he would never walk or talk again after being hit by an intoxicated driver 22 years ago.

An ex-policeman, Mr Hague spent two years recovering from the accident which left him with extensive speech and mobility problems.

Following his accident, Mr Hague sought the help of Barrow District & Disability Association (BDDA).

He said: "I first went to the BDDA about 19 years ago to do an IT Course to bring myself up to date.

"When I finished the courses Margaret asked me to stay on two days a week to give advice to BDDA members using my knowledge from the Police and Trading Standards."

Mr Hague praised the efforts of the BDDA for championing the disabled community.

He said: "There is nothing like the BDDA for offering disabled people the chance to keep up with the things in life that change so quickly.

"The BDDA were the first organisation that treated me as an adult, not a person with speech and mobility difficulties."

The charity is currently planning a £250,000 expansion to help serve Barrow's disabled community.

Mr Hague said he is "fully in support" of the BDDA's expansion plans.

He said: "I fully support their future plans so to be able to help more disabled people do more activities and live life, not just exist, is fantastic.

"I say that because helping people using my skills before my accident has given me my life back."

Honorary chief of the BDDA, Margaret Burrow, described Mr Hague as a "very good role model" for disabled people.

She said: "Steve, after many years of BDDA’s help and his sheer determination is a very good role model for other people recovering from illness, accidents and so on.

"He is well loved at our centre and more importantly greatly respected too.

"His story, I believe, would help future drivers thinking before driving after drinking alcohol."