Peter Titterington, 62, who grew up in Deepdale, Preston, spoke as police figures show a year on year increase of around 40 per cent in reports of crimes targeting disabled people since 2011 – cases officers fear are underreported.
For much of his life Peter has been bullied over his learning difficulties and walking problems.
In 2010, his health took a turn for the worst when he fell from a wagon in the supermarket warehouse where he worked, shattering his ankle.
The father-of-one has had to rely on aids including walking frames, crutches, and a motorised scooter, ever since, and has been abused and attacked in the street.
Peter, who works as an advisor for Disability Equality North West (DENW) charity, was thrilled with the Big Lottery funding.
He said: “I don’t know if my attackers guessed I had learning difficulties but it’s clear to see I struggle walking.
“I decided to try and walk into town, and I was using my stick. A group of young adults started running around me and one asked me for a pound.
“They said can you lend me some money, and I said no. Then one of them pushed me and I fell over. They ran off.”
Preston Police have seen year upon year increases of approximately 40 percent over the last three years, rising from 21 complaints in 2011 to 61 in 2014.
PC Stu Rutlidge, of Preston Police, added: “I am delighted Disability Equality North West has been awarded this Big Lottery funding which will enable the continuation of a long established and productive partnership with the police.”