During the last three decades, our trustee Darren Hughes has been fundamental in helping people with life-changing physical disabilities to live full lives, using his own experiences of the new life he made for himself after being paralysed in a swimming pool accident at the age of 25.
Darren, who today is a lawyer specialising in cases where people have suffered injuries like his own, has a long association with our charity - and we’re extremely proud of the difference he makes as part of our board and beyond.
Ethos’ early days
Darren first came to us as an Independent Living Advocate before taking on administrative roles and becoming manager of Transhouse, our charity’s former name, between 1995 and 2003. He has played a major role in helping those with serious life-changing injuries come to terms with their condition and to improve the situations of those battling the problems they encounter.
Darren says: “I was initially approached to work for Ethos as an Independent Living Advocate (ILA) when the charity opened in 1995. This was because of the experience that I had gained since leaving the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital’s spinal injuries unit in Oswestry in 1992.
“This experience enabled me to support people newly-affected by spinal cord injuries who were just starting out on that journey. For example, I had purchased my own home, learnt to drive again using hand controls and had also gone to university.
“In my role as an ILA I gradually built up my experience of working with people with spinal cord injuries. I then expanded this role to include administration duties in the Ethos office. Eventually I was successful in taking over the manager’s position when that became vacant.”
Darren, who lives in Wrexham, works at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Manchester after previously serving as a military policeman before his accident. He is also a trustee for the Spinal Injuries Association where he has also held the position of vice-chair.
The dad-of-two adds: “My message to anyone who has a life-changing physical disability is to understand that it is still possible to live a full and rewarding life with a physical disability. It’s just that sometimes things have to be done differently.
“To anyone considering applying for a place with Ethos, I would say seize the opportunity and allow Ethos to help you make the move into independent living because this will enable you to achieve a much more fulfilling and rewarding lifestyle.”
If you would be interested in becoming a trustee for Ethos, we’re looking for people with a range of backgrounds and expertise, and you can find out more at: https://ethoscharity.co.uk/about-ethos/become-a-trustee/.