Before my spinal cord injury in 1992 I was Head of PE, but I had to give up that post. Instead, I reverted to my second subject, History, and took on pastoral roles. I still did a little bit of PE teaching from the chair, though. I’m now Head of a Sixth Form.

So many schools are in old buildings and it’s not always been easy finding a school that is accessible for me to work in. It has made job hunting rather more difficult over the years. Teaching from a wheelchair is a different experience, but I've managed to adapt with the help of the schools and the students. I feel it is good for them to come into contact with disability first hand. This said, I'm ‘Sir’ first and a man in a wheelchair second, and they don't offer much in the way of concession.

I'm a 'Sir' first and a man in a wheelchair second 

Man in wheelchair teaching a class at a school

I’m married to Sarah and have three children. Millie is nearly 17 and from my first marriage. Tom is eight and Jessie seven. I’m truly blessed to have such a wonderful family. I enjoy all sports and spend a lot of time watching my children play sport, or any other sporting events I can get to. I also enjoy reading and socialising.

I despaired a little after my spinal cord injury, which happened in a road accident, but I got through with the help and support of my friends and family. I also gained massive strength from fellow patients during my time in hospital and from most, if not all, of the other spinally injured people I’ve met. Seeing others coping with their injuries helped me to get on with it and realise that I was not the only one dealing with all the issues I found myself faced with. The turning point came when I was able to get out of bed and got used to the wheelchair. This was very hard to begin with, much harder than people might think.

I think my friends would describe me as a miserable old git. I’d prefer to describe myself as a wise old sage with a wry take on the world around me. You have to have a sense of humour and perspective when you are confronted with some of the challenges you face in a wheelchair. Being able to laugh at yourself is a tremendous help and puts people at ease when they meet you and your wheels. Falling out of the chair and feigning injury is even better. You get the sympathy vote and they might even give you money…