A FORMER solider from Cwmbran has won a bravery award after losing the use of his legs through a neurological disease.

Jamie McAnsh, 35, from Coed Eva, was a former Royal Engineer but awoke one morning after Christmas and New Year in January 2014 to find he had lost feeling in his legs.

He scooped the 'Against All Odds' award at the Charles Holland Awards for Brave Britons at the ceremony held in London on Wednesday.

Mr McAnsh said: “It’s very special to receive this award,” as he pipped three other nominees to the award.

“I can’t say thank you enough. It’s absolutely surreal. I don’t feel like I belong here with other such incredible finalists. The stories that have been told today have been phenomenal.”

Before he was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome, the 35-year-old ran marathons, climbed peaks and rode his motorbike.

When his life was suddenly turned upside down he battled against his severe disability and went on to be chosen for the Welsh wheelchair rugby team.

Using his experiences, he has helped to inspire others to adopt a more positive approach to disability through mentoring and the launch of a website – seenobounds.co.uk.

He set up the website in August 2014 as a chance to help people in a similar position to him to engage with others, and inspire them to perceive in the face of adversity.

Mr McAnsh also blogs about this adventure and the activities that he takes part in, and spoke of his pride at receiving the Amplifon bravery award.

“The Amplifon award is going to take pride of place,” he said.

“I feel very proud. I never expected it. I hope my story will further inspire others to follow in my footsteps – or tyre tracks.”

Mr McAnsh received his award at the Churchill War Rooms in London, from Caerphilly-born Falklands War veteran Simon Weston.

He was also put forward as one of the award winners for a chance to win a holiday to Italy, but Mr McAnsh lost out to Mark McGowan from Farnborough in Hampshire.