An ambassador for UK scuba rehabilitation charity Deptherapy has received a Royal Foundation Endeavour Fund award. Ben Lee, a former Royal Engineers private, was one of three wounded ex-servicemen to receive the Recognising Achievement Award at a ceremony at Goldsmiths Hall in London attended by HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
Update: DEPTHERAPY TO CLOSE IN 2023
The award goes to individuals judged to have “best utilised their endeavour experience to promote and catalyse their recovery”.
Lee lost both legs and suffered other catastrophic injuries in 2011 during bomb-disposal operations in Afghanistan.
Five years later he was introduced to scuba-diving through Deptherapy and completed his PADI Open Water Diver course in Egypt, stating afterwards that he wanted to “give back to the charity”.
His achievement had been the more remarkable because a near-drowning in a swimming-pool as a child had left him with an “overwhelming fear of water”.
Lee has progressed rapidly through the PADI Continuing Education programme, completing his Advanced OWD and Rescue Diver qualifications and the Deep, Wreck, PPB and SMB specialties. He is now a Master Scuba Diver and trainee Divemaster.
Meanwhile Deptherapy & Deptherapy Education have reached the finals in the Healthcare & Rehabilitation category of the 2018 Soldiering On Awards.
The award. sponsored by Redwood Technologies Group, recognises “a person or team who has made a major contribution in the treatment of ill-health or injury, or provided exceptional skill and commitment to healthcare treatment, recovery and rehabilitation of serving and former members of the Armed Forces community”.
Deptherapy will be up against three other finalists short-listed in the category, one of 12 that make up the annual awards, which recognise the achievements of Armed Forces personnel and the community's supporters.
The judges, Soldiering On President, General the Lord Dannatt, and its Vice-President Debra Allcock-Tyler, CEO of the Directory of Social Change, will decide on the winners following a Finalists Reception at the House of Lords in February. They will be announced at an awards ceremony on 20 April.