A WINCHESTER soldier who lost his legs in a bomb blast in Afghanistan has joined a TV celebrity to share their experiences of embracing technology and social media to overcome adversity.

Simon Harmer, from Kings Worthy, was severely injured in 2009 but only two months later was walking on prosthetic legs, thanks to determination and self-belief.

During his recovery, he developed the idea of a series of podcasts featuring celebrities and members of the public who have overcome significant physical and mental challenges.

Simon said: “Throughout my rehabilitation, the days were busy with visits, doctors and physical recovery, but at night it became a very lonely and sad place. I wanted to put in my headphones and listen to something positive that would give me a sliver of hope and be part of a positive conversation.”

Now he is working with The Drive Project, a creative social enterprise headed by theatre producer Alice Driver, who was the first person in the UK to use arts to support rehabilitation of veterans.

Simon shares his experiences with TV presenter and mathematician Carol Vorderman. The path to success has not been easy and they have both suffered setbacks and self-doubt, a journey which they want to share.

Simon was seriously injured while clearing compounds and thought he would die. He said: “I’d only been married for 87 days and I couldn’t stand the thought of leaving my wife alone. There’s being scared but then there’s experiencing all-encompassing physical fear, like I felt in Afghanistan.”

At Selly Oak military hospital, a nurse advised him to try and find three good things that have come from the day, such as getting a phone call from a friend, a technique he still uses today.

After seeing photos of people with disabilities taking part in activities on the walls of the hospital, Simon saw a future and was inspired to raise over £1m for charity.

Carol Vorderman’s celebrity experiences have also given her the motivation to give something back, and she has also used the obstacles in her way as determination to become a strong female role model.

Carol looks for the positive but is ready to fight when there’s a negative. She added: “Through the podcasts, people like Simon can light up a room, making lives better and help others to celebrate what they have.”

Alice Driver said: “The podcast aims to create meaningful and inspiring conversations between two unlikely individuals, to talk about their experiences, careers, challenges and how they have handled resilience in their own lives, to act as an inspiration and support to those listening.”