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Weezle Diving goes green

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When Weezle Diving (www.weezle.co.uk) launched their first product in 1998 it was green. Literally. A bright emerald one-piece ‘Extreme’ undersuit. What was equally innovative was the packaging the Weezle Extreme came in. It was green too. This time, environmentally green. The Extreme undersuit was packed in a lightweight durable material sack, that could be compressed to save on space.

The fact that Weezle set out to be as environmentally friendly as possible from day one was no happy accident. In LBW (life before Weezle), Paul Child – Weezle’s co-founder – worked in the packaging industry, and as such was exposed to some interesting ideas that influenced his ecological thinking.

The compression sack set a trend and Weezle introduced draw-string fabric bags for their long boots and unbleached cotton duffle bags for bigger products. They switched out plastic barbs and replaced them with small metal safety pins to secure cardboard product tags to their Russian Hats and base layers. “Although this solution is more labour intensive, we knew it was the right thing to do”, stated Paul Child.

Weezle also “did the right thing” when it came to sourcing the insulating material for their undersuits. “Thanks to the likes of the Women’s Institute and their plastic soup campaign the public are now learning about the environmental impact of microplastic fibres” stated Paul Child. “Our man-made filling has longevity and unlike Fleece this hydrophobic material does not break down into microfibres. It can also be successfully washed in cold water.”

All these small steps have helped Weezle Diving adopt the ‘Green Achiever’ scheme and achieve their aim of being 100% single-use-plastic free. This system works to improve day-to-day company operations. All aspects of the company are holistically evaluated. Typical audit questions include “do you have an environmental policy? Do you know your carbon footprint? Where do your drains go? How do you dispose of plastic, wooden pallets, oil rags and fluorescent light bulbs? Do you take back old and redundant products from your customers? What forms of energy to you use (electricity, gas oil, renewable?) Does your company car fleet use biofuels? Do you source supplies locally?

We reviewed our ancillary despatch materials because this is one area that everyone routinely overlooks”, stated Paul Child. “This year we have been sourcing packaging that can be composted. Bubble wrap is not an option, the obvious solution is corrugated cardboard. But what about the ‘documents enclosed pouch’? Traditional pouches used by the likes of UPS, Fedex etc are made from plastic and the backing paper that is removed to stick the pouch to the package can’t be always recycled either. After much searching we have sourced a pouch manufactured from oxo-biodegradable polythene. We have also switched out our packing tape for a compostable one that uses a water-based glue and all our cardboard boxes have already been previously used. In addition we have reached and agreement with our suppliers that if they dispatch us something that we cannot reuse or recycle, they have agreed we can return it to them for disposal.


Being awarded this Green Achiever certificate has been a real pat on the back! We have now joined Mission 2020 and will continue to use biodegradable, compostable packing materials, and recycle and reduce our ecological footprint where possible.”

For more information please visit the Weezle Diving website by clicking here.

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New academic study to confirm rehabilitative benefits of Scuba Diving

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A new study into Scuba Diving Rehabilitation Charity Deptherapy’s approach to supporting Armed Forces veterans with psychological injuries such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through the medium of scuba diving has been carried out by Petra Walker in conjunction with Hanna Kampman of the Posttraumatic Growth Research Unit at the University of East London.

This study, which used Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), demonstrates that scuba diving has rehabilitation benefits beyond those found in other forms of sporting rehabilitation exercise.

IPA is a qualitative methodology that examines the experiences of participants and has been used in previous studies of Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) in para-athletes.

Petra is an experienced diver herself and was exploring the wellbeing aspects of scuba diving as part of her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology when she came across a previous study on Deptherapy. Past studies have mainly focused on the medical aspects of diving, so the opportunity to examine the mental health side of rehabilitative scuba diving was impossible to ignore.

The full study is currently embargoed until it is published at a future date in an academic journal, but it follows similar academic research into the work of Deptherapy by the University of Sheffield Medical School (2018) and the University of Nottingham (2019).

Richard Cullen, Chairman of Deptherapy commented: “This evidence-based study demonstrates yet again the value of scuba diving and, in particular, the support provided by Deptherapy to severely traumatised people within the Armed Forces community. We await the publication of the detailed findings which we anticipate will be of considerable interest to all organisations who seek to assist in the rehabilitation of veterans through sporting activity, as well as the Scuba Diving world.”

Team Deptherapy returned to the UK last week from their first training expedition since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic. A small group of six veterans travelled with the Deptherapy Instructor Team to the charity’s international base at Roots Red Sea to undertake practical Scuba Diving training in the clear, warm waters of the Red Sea.

Joining Team Deptherapy for the first time was 20 year old paraplegic Corey Goodson who had this to say: “I have been made aware of a new academic study about the benefits of Deptherapy. Last week I learned to scuba dive properly with Deptherapy, a huge achievement for someone with paraplegia. Deptherapy doesn’t judge your injury, whether that be physical or psychological; it looks beyond, and it sees the person inside. That person is who they work with, and the Deptherapy programme encourages you to see your fellow beneficiaries in the same light. More important than the sense of achievement during the training, was the support, care, encouragement and love the team showed me. I have found a new family in Deptherapy. I am home now but the support, friendship and banter continue; it is motivating and empowering, it gives me a deep sense of wellness and worth. I look forward to continuing my rehabilitative journey with Deptherapy.”

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

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Deptherapy returns to its Roots – Part 6

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Join Richard Cullen from Deptherapy for part 6 of his Blog about the charity’s recent expedition to Roots Red Sea, El Quseir, Egypt.

Thursday has dawned and it is down to the House Reef with an outgoing tide that is approaching slack so we can get in the water straight away.   Lots of chat about last night’s RAID O2 Provider session with Moudi.  Oatsie is talking about sidemounts and marine biology, Swars is looking forward to his first sidemount session this afternoon.

Moudi is supported by Oatsie this morning and doing some more skill work with Keiron.

Moudi running the guys through the RAID O2 Administrator Course

Corey was asking last night about what it is like at 30 metres, so I have decided that with Michael and Swars we will take him to 30 metres.  We are going to run a narcosis exercise so out comes the slate with the numbers 1 – 25 randomly placed in squares.  Corey’s task, in the dive centre, is as quickly as possible to touch each number in sequence.  He does it pretty quickly and Michael briefs him that he will need to do the same exercise at 30 metres.

Michael briefs the dive and we set off down the beach.  Corey has improved beyond measure and he is becoming a pleasure to dive with.  So we are off to follow the South reef to 30 metres where we will complete the second part of the exercise.

At 30 metres Michael hands Corey the slate; there is a considerable difference in the time to complete the exercise at the surface and at 30 metres.  There are lots of mitigating factors in how quickly you can identify the numbers and explaining a slower time at 30 metres than at the surface does not mean an individual is suffering from narcosis.  Identifying random numbers, if you run the exercise at the surface, several times with an individual over a number of hours can result in wide variations in the time taken to complete the exercise.

We finish the dive with Corey smiling from ear to ear and we have a discussion about depth and air consumption.  The second dive of the morning is a fun dive, then it is lunch in the beach restaurant.  After the burgers I am sure we will need to look at our weighting before the afternoon’s dive.

We will need to look at weighting after this lunch!

Corey and Keiron have got into the habit of recording their dives online using the RAID online log book which is a tremendous facility and as the instructor I can access that data.

Moudi and Keiron are going for a fun dive as are Corey, Oatsie, Michael and myself. Swars is getting kitted up for the first experience of sidemount with Guy Henderson.

Swars getting to grips with his sidemount cylinders

People often look at the relationships that exist between the dive team and our beneficiaries and try to extrapolate a similar relationship to disabled students they might have.  Our relationships are built up over a period of time, in some cases over many years.  We also provide 24/7 support and have chat groups etc on social media; we also meet up socially when we can.  It is somewhat different than a individual coming in to a dive centre and saying ‘I want to dive’. Your relationship is likely to be the same as any other student, you will teach them, they might stay with the dive centre or like many that will go on holiday to do some diving, you might never see them again.

Our main aim is to create a family atmosphere for our programme members, one where they feel secure and they are able to discuss freely with the team and fellow beneficiaries their feelings and needs.

Few dive centres are charities, and owners might want to consider costs of running a course for someone with a disability that might take more than the standard four pool sessions etc.  You may find the number of sessions and the staffing levels have to increase.  Many dive centres, because of their size and turnover are exempt from providing accessibility.  How will this affect someone who is a wheelchair user?  Can they gain access to the dive centre, the classroom, the toilet?  What are the changing facilities, can they get wheelchair access to the pool?

Lots of things to think about.

Roots’ beautiful reef

The reef is beautiful, so much aquatic life and the corals look splendid, especially the pinnacles.

A good day’s diving, Swars has really enjoyed his sidemount.

Lovely way to relax in the evening with the Roots BBQ, a fitting end to a great day.

Last day tomorrow and our final blog!


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

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