Deptherapy members organise 24-hour pool-dive


Deptherapy members organise 24-hour pool-dive

Tom Oates and Ben Lee at RoHo. (Picture: Deptherapy)

UK Armed Forces veterans attached to scuba diving charity Deptherapy are set to take part in a 24-hour dive to raise funds for its work.

The relay event starts at midday on 16 March at the swimming pool of the event’s sponsor, dive-centre and retailer Robin Hood Watersports of Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire.

A team expected to number around 30 divers, with Deptherapy programme members and volunteers joined by dive-centre staff, aims to raise more than £5000 to help fund a Red Sea training course for new veterans.

28 February 2019

Deptherapy works to rehabilitate those who have suffered life-changing mental and/or physical challenges through its diving programmes, and provides 24/7 support to its programme members.

The event was the idea of two of those members. Ben Lee, a former Royal Engineer, lost both legs while serving in Afghanistan in 2011. He also had an extreme fear of water stemming from a near-fatal childhood accident, but says that taking part in a Deptherapy training programme in Egypt in 2016 changed his life.

As a Deptherapy trustee, he won the Recognising Achievement Award from the Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund in 2018.

Tom Oates was in the Scots Guards when his vehicle was struck by an IED in Afghanistan. Back home, he was crossing the road with his girlfriend when she was hit and killed by a car.

Oates suffers from complex PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), has tried to take his own life and needs a high level of support. But under water his demons disappear, says Deptherapy, adding that he is achieving his dream of becoming both a dive instructor and a marine biologist.

“Deptherapy is an amazing charity that does so much for so many, with so little in the way of funds,” says Lee. “From the minute I learnt to breathe under water, Deptherapy set me on an incredible scuba-diving journey that has opened up a whole new world to me.

“Many of the charity’s programme members would not be here if it were not for the support of the Deptherapy family. With this 24-hour dive, we hope to raise a significant amount of money to allow the charity to help as many other injured veterans as possible.”

A fund-raising page has been set up for the Deptherapy Dive Team 24 Hour Dive here.



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