Just a few years into what he hoped would be a long career in the police service, Dave Powell was facing up to the reality of spending life in a wheelchair. A police car Dave was a passenger in was travelling at about 70mph when it lost a wheel. The car left the road, clearing a six foot tall hedge, before landing on its roof.
“I realised I was paralysed. I couldn’t feel my legs. That was when it became abundantly clear that something serious had happened.”
Dave suffered complete paralysis from the chest down. After being medically retired from the service, Dave approached Police Care UK for help.
It was becoming increasingly difficult for Dave to transfer from his wheelchair to his car but his independence was a very important part of his life. The charity helped towards the cost of a new car which has a side lift and is adapted to enable Dave to drive it from his wheelchair.
As well as assisting with the purchase of vital equipment, or adaptations to a person’s home, there are other ways in which Police Care UK can help.
Dave used to play a lot of sport at a very high level but the accident meant he couldn’t do that any longer. He felt he needed to look for something he could do to remain active and says the sport of bowls came to his rescue.
Dave became so good at bowls that he got picked to represent his country at the World Disabled Bowls Championships in Sydney, and Police Care UK supported Dave meet the costs of attending.
In a message to other officers who need support, David said: “Don’t be ashamed. Don’t be thinking ‘that’s a charity’. People want to help and you should let them in.”