When Scuba Diving rehabilitation charity Deptherapy & Deptherapy Education announced that it will close on 31st August 2023, part of the dream that the founders held since 2014 remained unfulfilled. Now, the charity, along with its partners Dive RAID International and Pharoah Dive Club at Roots Red Sea, is delighted to announce that their final mission, to see beneficiaries who had started their diving journey with Deptherapy progress to teaching others, is to become a reality this year.
In adaptive teaching, particularly in respect of the veterans’ armed service community, there has never before been an Instructor Development Programme (IDP) delivered for a group of veterans who have experienced life changing mental and/or physical challenges.
Later this year, Deptherapy and their training partners RAID will deliver an IDP for five beneficiaries, each of whom has already qualified as a Divemaster. One is a bilateral amputee with PTSD, who stepped on an IED in Afghanistan. One has MS and depression, another was shot by a sniper and lost five pints of blood in combat and is diagnosed with Complex PTSD, Survivor Guilt and Adjustment Disorder. Two others have Complex PTSD from their terrible experiences whilst serving in Afghanistan.
The Instructor Development Programme (IDP) will be run partly in the UK and completed at Roots Red Sea in El Quseir, Egypt. Much of the theory and confined water work will be conducted over a number of weekends in the UK, with a skills refresher, the remainder of the theory and open water work carried out at Roots. An independent Instructor Examiner will conduct a two-day IE with the beneficiaries.
Tom Swarbrick, Deptherapy Ambassador and RAID Divemaster, said: “My two deployments to Afghanistan left me a broken man, mentally and physically. Like so many others, I denied I was mentally ill. Scuba diving has, together with Deptherapy’s 24/7 support, saved my life and changed how I see things. Underwater the demons disappear and when I climb the ladder back onto the boat after a dive, my fellow beneficiaries and the team provide the emotional support I need. For someone, who on return from Afghanistan, saw himself as a burden on society to becoming a Scuba Diving Instructor is an amazing journey and I owe a deep debt to all those involved in making this happen.”
A spokesperson for Dive RAID International said: “RAID was immensely proud when Deptherapy chose us as their training partners in 2019. We were involved in the discussions about running a Deptherapy Beneficiaries’ IDP at the earliest stage and we are working to deliver this world first. For these beneficiaries to achieve Instructor status will be the pinnacle of Deptherapy’s work; being a part of their journey is an amazing experience.”
The Deptherapy & Deptherapy Education Board of Trustees has decided that the charity’s residual funds will be used to support the IDP. Steve Rattle the owner of Pharoah Dive Club and Roots Red Sea has organised a fundraising event to raise additional funds to see Deptherapy’s mission completed.
Steve Rattle said: “Pharaoh Dive Club and Roots Red Sea are long-term supporters of Deptherapy, and we have been privileged and proud to witness and take part in their life changing work first-hand. The team are now working to help facilitate the charity’s final mission. Completing the circle with the beneficiaries that have been helped by learning to dive, becoming Instructors so that they can continue the work beyond the life of the charity is an incredible achievement. This final mission is a true mark of the Deptherapy success story and will ensure that others can benefit from the Deptherapy model for years to come.”
Further details of the IDP will be published in due course. Tickets and more information about the fundraising event, which will be held at the Village Hotel, Coventry CV4 9GZ on Friday 3rd March 2023 on the Go Diving Show weekend, are available from Pharaoh Dive Club at [email protected] and their social media channels.