An Ammanford man who was left severely injured after an unprovoked attack in his home town has received special recognition for his commitment to preventing alcohol-fuelled violence.
Paul Pugh was presented with the Dyfed-Powys Police Special Recognition Award during a virtual conversation with outgoing Chief Constable Mark Collins QPM.
Praising Paul’s years of campaigning, Mr Collins said: “Paul’s strength and determination in his pursuit to help others and prevent alcohol-fuelled violence is truly heroic.”
In 2007, Paul was left in a coma for two months and hospitalised for 13 months following an unprovoked attack in Ammanford, Carmarthenshire.
Left with severe brain injuries, doctors told him he would never walk or talk again. Four men were jailed for the attack.
With a little help, Paul can now walk again, and for the past six years has promoted #PaulsPledge, a campaign against alcohol-fuelled violence.
He has shared his story with hundreds of schools, colleges, universities, youth clubs and sports associations throughout Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Powys and beyond, raising awareness of the dangers and consequences of alcohol and violence to thousands of young people and adults.
On receiving the award, football-loving Paul said, “It is an honour and privilege accepting a Special Recognition Award from Chief Constable Collins of Dyfed Powys Police”.
Ammanford PCSO, Dayton Hughes, commented, “It is amazing to work with Paul. He has taken such a negative experience and made it his mission to alter perspectives and bring about positive change.”
He continued, “After the presentations, Paul is like a superstar to the crowd- everybody wants to shake his hand!”
Since the start of the pandemic, Paul’s work out in the community has been put on hold, but in January 2020, before the outbreak, Paul was able to attend the House of Lords where he received the Community Alcohol Partnership Chairman’s Award.
Back in 2017, on the tenth anniversary of the attack, Paul received a Commendation from the then newly appointed Dyfed-Powys Police Chief Constable, Mark Collins, at Paul’s beloved Cwmamman Football Club, of which he was team Captain at the time of the attack.
This was the first Commendation presented by Chief Constable Collins, and so there is a charming symmetry that Paul’s Special Recognition is one of the last awards presented by Chief Constable Collins, ahead his retirement later this month.
“It has been a privilege for me, as Chief Constable, to present Paul with not only a Commendation, back in 2017, but also with this Special Recognition award. He is an unstoppable force and so very deserving of his achievements.”
You can follow Paul’s work on Twitter @paulspledge