Deptherapy’s Tom Oates wins top Endeavour Fund Award

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Deptherapy Programme Member Tom Oates (far left) with fellow Award winners and nominees, and TRH The Duke and Duchess of Sussex at the Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Awards. Photo - Courtesy of The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund.

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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