As divers gathered in numbers for the first major UK dive show for more than two years (Go Diving at the NAEC Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire on 4-6 March) there was much catching up to do – but one recurring topic was the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Because of the international and collaborative nature of diving, it seemed that many attendees and exhibitors knew Ukrainian scuba divers and were concerned about them and their families as part of the wider tragedy unfolding in eastern Europe.
A starting point for UK divers who wish to contribute in any way to the relief effort is to visit the online bulletin board How to Help Ukrainians From the UK, set up by five immigration lawyers and the editor of migration website Free Movement. It forms part of a rapidly assembled crowdsourced information platform covering a large number of countries.
The website sets out options for helping those charities on the ground best-placed to make effective use of cash donations. It also directs visitors towards the growing number of humanitarian help-centres looking for contributions of specific goods.
There is information about scheduled public demonstrations, and guidance on how best to contact MPs about UK hosting of Ukrainians and the imposition of a range of sanctions on Russia.
In addition, Ukrainian nationals are advised of a free information service manned by qualified lawyers – it can be accessed at the Ukraine Advice Project, with individual advice available by emailing email@example.com
Steve has been a scuba diver for 30 years and became editor of Diver magazine in 1996, following 10 years with BBC World Service and the 10 before that in motoring journalism.