I was invited by Scuba Trust Chairman, Eric Bellworthy and Trustee, Amanda Ford to attend the Scuba Trust’s Christmas Lunch on 8th December 2019. My invite was, in part, a thank you for a grant the Hospital Saturday Fund donated to help purchase their new van. I was also asked to give a presentation before the lunch about two of my great loves; The Hospital Saturday Fund and the Manta Trust.
About The Scuba Trust
The Scuba Trust has been a registered Charity for over 20 years and is run entirely by dedicated and experienced volunteers. The Charity supports people with a wide range of disabilities, including; paraplegics, quadriplegics, the visually impaired, deaf, autistic and amputees. The Scuba Trust has a very long and successful history of working with divers with disabilities.
How the Scuba Trust helps
Scuba diving can be enjoyed by virtually anyone, regardless of physical ability. Weightless and relaxed, freedom from a wheelchair or mobility aid, divers can for a short while forget the world above water and share their experiences with a supportive group of qualified instructors.
People with disabilities can enjoy a unique sense of freedom as they are transported into a world of near weightlessness.
One of the things I love about diving is that sense of weightlessness and literally flying underwater. So for somebody with a disability, this sense of freedom must be life changing.
Eric informed me that a number of the Charity’s beneficiaries have told him that scuba diving is the only time in their lives when they are pain free. In fact, on one dive trip Eric was amazed to discover that a quadriplegic scuba diver under his care was so relaxed and pain free that she had fallen asleep underwater!
People at The Scuba Trust lunch
It was wonderful to meet people who had benefited from being given the chance to scuba dive, particularly as this would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of the Scuba Trust volunteers.
After my presentation, I was asked a number of questions about manta rays, which I was very happy to answer. I also met the parents of Alan, one of the scuba divers, who had attended a speech therapy school in Chertsey, Surrey. This charity is called Meath School and was founded by Lady Meath, the wife of The Hospital Saturday Fund’s founder Lord Meath, in 1883. I hadn’t come across this charity before and was not expecting this coincidence at a presentation to scuba divers!
Finally, I was honoured to present the Scuba Trusts annual awards to a number of beneficiaries and volunteers, including Eric himself.
For more details on The Scuba Trust, please visit their website: scubatrust.org