WEC Group Apprentices Manufacture Steel Ramp for Amputee Veteran in Darwen

A GULF War veteran confined to his home after losing a leg has regained his freedom, thanks to local firm WEC Group.

Dave Wild had the lower half of his left leg amputated after it became infected following complications after surgery. And he was left devastated, having been told it would take the council three months to measure, and install, a ramp at his home in Delphinium Way, Lower Darwen.

But Darwen firm WEC stepped in, and apprentices made, and fitted, a steel ramp within 48 hours, installing it on D-Day. Mr Wild said:

"I was really chuffed with it. Being trapped in here was like being in a posh prison, and I couldn't get anywhere. I could just go from the kitchen to the living room, and back" ..."As soon as they put it in, I was up and down it. It was like I got my freedom back. And for it to be fitted on D-Day was quite poignant really."

Mr Wild, who served for 10 years in the Army before being injured during the Gulf War in 1992, was given just four hours notice that his limb was to be removed. The United Utilities subcontractor, who is also vicechairman of the Darwen branch of the Royal British Legion, was left wheelchairbound and unable to climb the stairs in his own home.

Blackburn with Darwen Council armed forces champion Coun Trevor Maxfield, who knew Mr Wild through his work with the RBL, contacted WEC on his behalf. He said:

"There is so much red tape, I was told it would take at least three months for the council to fit a ramp for Dave. The Government says everything has to be means tested and that doesn't happen overnight. I asked WEC if they would help, intending to use Legion cash to pay, but they just sorted it out. It shows how committed they are to the community."

Welding and engineering instructor at WEC Kris Mercer oversaw the project, he said:

"We did it in 48 hours and fitted it on D-Day. It is becoming more and more known that we are doing a lot of these community projects. The lads enjoy working on them."