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Deptherapy’s Tom Oates wins top Endeavour Fund Award

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At the annual Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London last night, Deptherapy’s Tom Oates was honoured to be chosen as the winner of the Henry Worsley Award.

Deptherapy Programme Member Tom Oates was presented with the Henry Worsley Award by HRH The Duke of Sussex and Max Worsley, the son of the Antarctic Explorer Henry Worsley in whose memory the Award is given.

Deptherapy Programme Member Tom Oates receives his Award from HRH The Duke of Sussex and Max Worsley at the Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Awards. Photo – Courtesy of The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund.

The Henry Worsley Award is in the words of the Endeavour Fund, presented to the individual who has “best inspired others through the demonstration of determination in the face of adversity, whilst endeavouring to support others with their recovery through sport or adventurous challenge.”

Tom Oates was in the Scots Guards when his vehicle was struck by an IED in Afghanistan. When he returned home, he was crossing the road with his girlfriend when she was hit and killed by a car. Tom suffers from Complex post-traumatic stress disorder, has tried to take his own life, and needs a high level of support, but underwater Tom’s demons disappear. Through Deptherapy, Tom is achieving his dream of becoming not only a Scuba Diving Instructor, helping others to overcome similar challenges, but also a Marine Biologist.

Tom has been offered an unconditional place at Hull University this September studying for a BSc in Marine Biology.

Tom Oates making his acceptance speech at The Endeavour Awards. Photo – Courtesy of The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund.

Tom said:

“I have never won anything in my life before so winning the Endeavour Fund’s Henry Worsley Award is unbelievable, Without the support of Deptherapy and the Endeavour Fund I would not be alive; this Award is a true milestone for me. I hope I can give back to the charity by being a Champion for our project ‘Protecting Our Oceans’ and by supporting veterans who are new to the Programme.”

Deptherapy launched ‘Protecting Our Oceans’ in 2016 to support worldwide initiatives to draw attention to the perilous state of our seas and oceans. Deptherapy’s three-pronged approach of beach clean-ups, dives against debris and education are having an impact on local and global communities. Deptherapy also lends active support to local communities wherever they dive.

Tom Oates undertaking Rescue Diver training at Roots Red Sea, Egypt. Photo – Dmitry Knyazev for Deptherapy.

Richard Cullen, Chair of Deptherapy said:

“Tom’s achievement in winning this award cannot be overstated. He was totally shocked when HRH The Duke of Sussex read out his name as the winner. For us Tom represents the many we work with who live with PTSD.  His success shows that there is a life beyond the barricades of mental illness.”

Deptherapy would like to thank The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund for their recognition and ongoing support, which has enabled the charity to offer its unique training and development programmes to so many injured and wounded ex-service personnel.

Deptherapy is now actively seeking funding and sponsorship to continue its life-changing programmes in 2020 and beyond.

Find out about the work of Deptherapy & Deptherapy Education at www.deptherapy.co.uk.

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Book Release: Diving the Thistlegorm – The Ultimate Guide to a World War II Shipwreck

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Diving the Thistlegorm is a unique in-depth look at one of the world’s best-loved shipwrecks. In this highly visual guide, cutting edge photographic methods enable views of the wreck and its fascinating cargo which were previously impossible.

This book is the culmination of decades of experience, archaeological and photographic expertise, many hours underwater, months of computer processing time, and days spent researching and verifying the history of the ship and its cargo. For the first time, Diving the Thistlegorm brings the rich and complex contents of the wreck together, identifying individual items and illustrating where they can be found. As the expert team behind the underwater photography, reconstructions and explanations take you through the wreck in incredible detail, you will discover not only what has been learned but also what mysteries are still to be solved.

Find out more about:

  • One of the world’s greatest dives.
  • Incredible ‘photogrammetry’ shows the wreck and cargo in a whole new light.
  • Meticulous detail presented in a readable style by experts in their respective fields.

About the authors:

Simon Brown is an underwater photographer and photogrammetry/3D expert who has documented underwater subjects for a wide range of clients including Historic England, Wessex Archaeology and television companies such as National Geographic Channel and Discovery Canada. Jon Henderson is Reader in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh where he is the Director of the Underwater Archaeology Research Centre. With specific research interests in submerged prehistoric settlements and developing underwater survey techniques, he has directed underwater projects in the UK, Poland, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Jamaica and Malaysia. Alex Mustard is a former marine biologist and award-winning underwater photographer. In 2018 he was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for “Services to underwater photography”. Mike Postons pioneered the use of digital 3D modelling to visualise shipwrecks, as well as the processes of reconstructing original ships from historic plans. He has worked with a number of organisations including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Historic England and the Nautical Archaeological Society.


About the book:

  • Release date 25 November 2020
  • Limited run of Hardbacks
  • RRP £35
  • ISBN 978-1-909455-37-5
  • 240 photo-packed pages
  • 240 x 160 mm

Available to pre-order now from Divedup.com, Amazon, online, and from retailers.

Check back on Scubaverse.com for a review of the book coming soon!

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Deptherapy’s Dr Richard Cullen becomes a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

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Dr Richard Cullen, Chairman of Scuba Diving Rehabilitation Charity Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education, has been recognised as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society is a prestigious Fellowship that is open to those who demonstrate a sufficient involvement in geography or an allied subject through publications, research or professional experience.

Paul Rose, Deptherapy’s Vice Chair, and a world renowned explorer, author, broadcaster, who is a former Vice Chair of the RGS said: 

“This is a huge achievement by Richard. His Fellowship is richly deserved, and a direct result of his steadfast commitment to preserving our oceans through Deptherapy’s very powerful ‘Protecting Our Oceans’ Programme.  I know the top team at the RGS are looking forward to welcoming Richard into the Society.”

The RGS was founded in 1830 to advance geographical research, education, fieldwork and expeditions, as well as by advocating on behalf of the discipline and promoting geography to public audiences.

Paul Toomer, President of RAID, said:

“I have been close friends with Richard for many years and his passion for our seas, even at 70 years of age, is undiminished.  Deptherapy are the world leaders in adaptive scuba diving teaching and are our much valued partners.  Taking UK Armed Forces Veterans who have suffered life changing mental and/or physical challenges and engaging them in major marine biology expeditions, is to most of us beyond the realms of possibility.  The skills these guys have to develop is just awesome.  This is a great honour for Richard, a great honour for Deptherapy, and also for us as their partners.  The diving world must come together to celebrate and acknowledge Richard’s achievement.”

Richard joins some distinguished Fellows of the RGS.  Former Fellows include Ernest Shackleton and many other notable explorers and geographers.

Richard said:

“I am both honoured and humbled to become a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. When I was invited to apply for a Fellowship, I was, which is very unusual for me, lost for words.  I hope it will allow me to take our message of Protecting Our Oceans to a larger audience and to further develop our programmes.  The Fellowship is a recognition of the charity’s work to raise awareness of the plight of our oceans.  The credit belongs to a group of individuals who have overcome massive challenges to let alone qualify as divers but now to progress to marine biology expedition diving”.

For more information about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education visit www.deptherapy.co.uk.

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