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Major grant from the Veterans’ Foundation allows Deptherapy to return to its Roots

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Scuba Diving rehabilitation charity Deptherapy has announced a substantial grant from military charity the Veterans’ Foundation. The grant of £25k will allow Deptherapy to return to Roots, its base in the Egyptian Red Sea, funding RAID Open Water 20 courses and continuing education courses for scuba divers in 2022.

The grant is a significant boost to the funding of Deptherapy’s work – rehabilitating UK Armed Forces’ Veterans who have suffered life-changing mental and/or physical challenges through adaptive scuba diving programmes and 24/7 support.

“Sometimes at night he comes into my bedroom, sits at the end of my bed and we talk. He was my best friend. It seems so real; he is alive. Sometimes we are back on patrol and he steps on the IED and all there is, is pink mist. He died that day, but he is always in my heart.”

Deptherapy beneficiary.

The Veterans’ Foundation has supported Deptherapy since 2017. During COVID restrictions, when travel to Egypt was not possible, the Foundation funded an Open Water course that was run at Eton College Pool and Wraysbury Dive Centre. The course was the first of its kind for the charity in the UK.

Deptherapy beneficiary Grant, who has MS and is a wheelchair user, said:

“I was part of the group that undertook their open water course in the UK. Unfortunately, I could not finish it as I was unable to complete the 200-metre non-stop swim. I have put in a lot of work in my local pool and can do the 200 metres easily now. The Veterans’ Foundation grant means I can travel to Egypt on this year’s expedition and complete the course in warm water. I know I can achieve something that many would say is impossible.”

RAID OW20 course at Eton College pool – August 2021 – funded by the Veterans’ Foundation. Photo – Stuart Green

Deptherapy’s announcement of the Veterans’ Foundation grant comes in a week where ‘mental health’ concerns dominate the headlines with so-called ‘Blue Monday’, as well as a compelling article that appeared in The Times on 15th January.

The Times article, written by war correspondent Anthony Loyd, reports on the terrible impact on the mental health of UK Armed Forces’ Veterans who served in Afghanistan. In particular, the article focuses on soldiers from the Rifles Regiment and the concerning number of suicides amongst the troops post-conflict.

Deptherapy Ambassador and author of Bombs for Breakfast, Gary Green, is a former Rifleman, who lost his sight in one eye and has Chronic PTSD as the result of an IED blast while on patrol in Afghanistan. Gary said:

“I would imagine many members of the public will have struggled to read or were moved to tears reading the reality of life on the battlefields of Afghanistan. The mental health toll is immeasurable. Deptherapy has had a major impact on helping Veterans like myself return to a healthy lifestyle. Among those we work with, suicide ideation is high. The Veterans’ Foundation grant coming, as it does, hard on the heels of lockdown means we can once again deliver our core programmes and developmental programmes at Roots. Deptherapy works because we understand what Veterans have been through. We are a family.”

Deptherapy, as part of its ongoing research programme, is commissioning a medical study to look at the apparent unique benefits that Roots Red Sea offers in terms of mental health. Previous research suggested that the experiences of beneficiaries at Roots, and in particular in what became known as the ‘Reflection Room’, contributed significantly to an environment where beneficiaries could speak openly about their mental health problems. Researchers will travel on expedition this year alongside beneficiaries and will be able to experience the Roots environment first-hand.

Deptherapy Ambassador and Mental Health Champion Tom Oates said:

“PTSD destroyed my life as it has many of those our charity works with. I was detained in a secure ward after I tried to take my own life. I know what Deptherapy delivers. We deal with more than PTSD – there are the major physical injuries too – but many have depression or anxiety, adjustment disorder, severe learning difficulties and survivor guilt. Many of these are at the top end of the scale.  When the phone rings or you get a message from a partner, a parent or a friend saying ‘X’ needs help now, the charity swings into action and we are there to support. Deptherapy saved my life and it has saved the lives of many others. The Veterans’ Foundation grant will save lives, it will change lives.”

Deptherapy has a stand at the Go Diving Show on 4th, 5th and 6th March and the team will be speaking on the main stage on the Saturday and Sunday at 1500 hours about their work. The charity will also be using the show to kickstart a campaign to recruit new beneficiaries, which it has been unable to do during COVID.

Medical and academic research shows clearly that the Deptherapy programme works. Without ongoing support from the Veterans’ Foundation and other fundraisers, it would not be possible to continue the charity’s life changing work. Deptherapy hopes to attract new sponsors at the Go Diving Show and will be encouraging visitors to sign up to a new Direct Debit scheme, so that individuals can give easily and regularly to the charity to help their crucial work continue.

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

Header image: Roots Red Sea. Photo – Richard Stevens

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Join DEMA for “Decoding Congress: How Politics Shape the Dive Industry”

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Join DEMA’s President & CEO, Tom Ingram, for an engaging discussion with Emily Coyle, a seasoned Washington lobbyist with over 25 years of experience in federal policymaking.

Learn how Congress does (and doesn’t) work, how politics influence policy outcomes, and their direct impact on the dive industry. Emily and Tom will also provide an update on the DIVE BOAT Act’s progress and answer attendee questions.

Don’t miss “Decoding Congress: How Politics Shape the Dive Industry” on June 25th at 12:00 PM PDT / 3:00 PM EDT.

Register in advance here and submit your questions for Emily.

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The Ocean Cleanup & Coldplay announce limited edition LP made using river plastic

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  • Limited ‘Notebook Edition’ LP release of new Coldplay album ‘Moon Music’ made using river plastic removed from the Rio Las Vacas, Guatemala by The Ocean Cleanup

  • First collaborative product the latest step in Coldplay’s support for global non-profit

  • Innovative product partnerships essential for long-term success of The Ocean Cleanup’s mission to rid the oceans of plastic

The Ocean Cleanup and Coldplay have confirmed that a limited ‘Notebook Edition’ LP release of the band’s album ‘Moon Music’ will be manufactured using plastic intercepted by The Ocean Cleanup from the Rio Las Vacas, Guatemala.

The mission of The Ocean Cleanup is to rid the oceans of plastic. To achieve this, the non-profit operates a dual strategy: cleaning up legacy plastic in the oceans and deploying Interceptors to capture trash in rivers and stop it entering the oceans.

Today’s announcement with Coldplay of this Notebook Edition LP is an example of the innovative product partnerships The Ocean Cleanup creates to give this plastic a new life in sustainable and durable products, ensuring the plastic never re-enters the marine environment.

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The Ocean Cleanup project deployed Interceptor 006 in the Rio Las Vacas in 2023 to prevent plastic emissions into the Gulf of Honduras. Interceptor 006 made significant impact and captured large quantities of plastic – which has now been sorted, blended, tested and used to manufacture Coldplay’s limited edition physical release. The final product consists of 70% river plastic intercepted by The Ocean Cleanup and 30% recycled waste plastic bottles from other sources.The successful production of the Notebook Edition LP using intercepted river plastic marks an exciting new phase in Coldplay’s broad and long-standing support for The Ocean Cleanup. Coldplay provide financial support for the non-profit’s cleaning operations, sponsor Interceptor 005 in the Klang River, Malaysia (which the band named ‘Neon Moon I’) and share The Ocean Cleanup’s mission with millions of their fans during their record-breaking Music of the Spheres tour.Coldplay and The Ocean Cleanup collaborated closely during the intensive testing and quality control process, alongside processing and manufacturing partners Biosfera GT, Compuestos y Derivados S.A., Morssinkhof and Sonopress.Having proven the potential of their partnership, The Ocean Cleanup and Coldplay will continue to explore new and innovative ways to combine their impact and accelerate progress in the largest cleanup in history.

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“Coldplay is an incredible partner for us and I’m thrilled that our plastic catch has helped bring Moon Music to life.” said Boyan Slat, Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup. “Ensuring the plastic we catch never re-enters the marine environment is essential to our mission, and I’m excited to see how we’ll continue innovating with Coldplay and our other partners to rid the oceans of plastic – together.”

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About the Ocean Cleanup

The Ocean Cleanup is an international non-profit that develops and scales technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. They aim to achieve this goal through a dual strategy: intercepting in rivers to stop the flow and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean. For the latter, The Ocean Cleanup develops and deploys large-scale systems to efficiently concentrate the plastic for periodic removal. This plastic is tracked and traced to certify claims of origin when recycling it into new products. To curb the tide via rivers, The Ocean Cleanup has developed Interceptor™ Solutions to halt and extract riverine plastic before it reaches the ocean. As of June 2024, the non-profit has collected over 12 million kilograms (26.4 million pounds) of plastic from aquatic ecosystems around the world. Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup now employs a broadly multi-disciplined team of approximately 140. 

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