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



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

Header image: Roots Red Sea. Photo – Richard Stevens

Gear News

Fourth Element announce Tech Fins inspired by whale tail



A classic vented dive fin, engineered by nature and redesigned to maximise performance.

Fourth Element’s new Tech Fins have taken inspiration from nature and evolution to optimise efficiency. The turbulence disruptors on the top of the blade work in the same way as the nodules of the leading edge of a humpback whale fin, which disrupt the water as they move through it. The resulting turbulence enables the whale to swim with more efficiency. Fourth Element has adopted this evolutionary concept to improve the performance of this classic fin.

Utilising natural rubber in a unique density gradient, the dive fin delivers an ultra- comfortable foot pocket combined with optimised stiffness for finning performance.

The vented design allows water to flow along the blade reducing drag and fatigue, whilst the stiffening rails and ribs ensure that the blade of the fin is driven through the water to maximise the return on effort.

The Tech Fins, with a slightly negative buoyancy characteristic, were developed with technical divers in mind but are suitable for all levels of diver looking for a high-performance rubber fin. The wider blade gives manoeuvrability without compromising the power, while the shorter length improves agility and makes stowing the fins for transport more convenient. Spring straps with comfortable heel pads keep the feet securely held in place. These straps can be removed and changed easily with everyday tools if required.

The Tech Fins are supplied with a hanging/carrying strap and a marine quality bolt snap which may be used to attach them to a bcd or harness for carrying, leaving both hands free for climbing ladders or carrying other gear.

The natural rubber material of this fin is extremely durable, and all components are recyclable at end of life.

The Tech Fins are available in M, L, XL and XXL. These fins will fit sizes 4 (US5) to 14 (US15) and come in Black, Grey or Aqua.


  • Natural rubber heel strap
  • Stainless steel spring strap
  • Soft foot pocket
  • Hydro-flow vents
  • Turbulence disruptors
  • Strengthening ribs
  • Stiffening lateral rails

Find out more here.

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Discover the Best of Belize with Dive Worldwide



This June marks the 25th anniversary of the Belize Barrier Reef becoming a World Heritage Site! To celebrate, Dive Worldwide have rounded up their top trips to Belize which includes a resort-based stay, a liveaboard special and a twin-centre with neighbouring Guatemala – perfect for soaking up some culture. 

Reefs, Atolls & Mayan Ruins

The only English speaking country in Central America, Belize is warm, welcoming and offers unbelievable adventures. This gem has plenty for divers from incredible nature and topside activities to magical diving opportunities. Belize has the second longest barrier reef in the world and three of the four atolls in the western hemisphere making it a popular choice for divers.

If you missed the Dive Worldwide Belize talk in January you can catch up here.

Belize Discovered

Spend a week diving the remarkable barrier reef from Ambergris Caye before enjoying a few nights exploring the jungle with its Mayan ruins and caves.

Underwater there’s plenty on offer, with canyons, drop offs and swim throughs in addition to a unique topography and relatively easy conditions. You’ll be accompanied by a kaleidoscope of reef fish as you marvel at the array of sea fans and sponges adorning the seabed. Highlights include nurse shark, stingray, grouper, angelfish, turtle and dolphin. 

You then head off-the-beaten-track in land where you stay at an eco lodge in the heart of the Belizean jungle. Here there are a multitude of activities on offer including hiking and cave tours or you can immerse yourself in Mayan culture and visit a number of nearby ruins for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Departs: Jan-Dec

Duration: 13 days

Price from: £2,945 per person

Belize Liveaboard

Dive the Lighthouse and Turneffe Atolls from a liveaboard and experience the very best diving Belize has to offer. Located in the Lighthouse Reef there will be the opportunity to dive the Great Blue Hole. This atoll is full of marine life with angelfish, Creole wrasse, butterflyfish, barracuda and sponges found here.

Turneffe is the largest of the three atolls and offers a mixture of shallow reefs and sheer walls with a variety of reef fish and beautiful underwater scenery. Turtle, eagle ray, reef shark, snapper and jacks live on the healthy reefs. Dive sites of note include Half Moon Caye – another UNESCO World Heritage Site – and Painted Wall where you can find macro subjects such as ghostfish, crabs, blennies and invertebrates.

Departs: Jan-Dec

Duration: 10 days

Price from: £3,475 per person

Guatemala & Belize

Begin your holiday with some topside cultural discovery in Guatemala. This country packs a punch with its colonial architecture, Mayan ruins nestled in the verdant green jungle and stunning vistas. Don’t miss a visit to Lake Atilan, widely renowned for being one of the most beautiful lakes in the world with its volcanoes, thermal springs and incredible sunrises.

After a few days in Guatemala it’s time to go diving in Belize! Explore the barrier reef and spend time diving the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Blue Hole – the largest of its kind in the world and one of the top reasons to visit Belize. Here the waters are crystal clear, the topography is impressive with large coral and rock formations and the marine life is prolific with reef and black-tip shark in addition to large grouper.

Departs: Jan-Dec

Duration: 14 days

Price from: £3,495 per person

If you want to experience the world class diving and topside highlights of spectacular Belize, contact the Dive Worldwide Team.

All prices are per person and include flights from the UK, liveaboard or accommodation, diving, most meals and airport transfers.

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email

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