Huge congratulations to Ben on receiving the Recognising Achievement Award at the Endeavour Awards.
Before Deptherapy, Ben was terrified of water having had a serious near-death experience in water as a child. It is fantastic to hear of the progression he has made with Deptherapy & Deptherapy Education in getting his qualification as a PADI Wreck Diver.
Scuba diver Ben Lee, a former Sapper in the Royal Engineers, who lost both his legs and suffered other catastrophic injuries whilst searching and disposing of IEDs in Afghanistan in 2011, was presented with The Recognising Achievement Award at a special Awards Ceremony at Goldsmiths’ Hall in London on the 1st February.
His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle joined people from the armed forces community to celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges over the last year.
The Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund supports the ambitions of these men and women to use challenges to help with their physical, psychological and social recovery and rehabilitation.
Prince Harry and Ms. Markle first attended a pre-ceremony reception where met the inspiring nominees, as well as endeavour participants and key supporters of the Endeavour Fund, they then attended the awards ceremony, where three prizes were awarded.
I served with 58 Squadron, 33 EOD, Royal Engineers. On September 9th 2011 I was conducting a route clearance in Afghanistan when I was hit by an IED resulting in the loss of both legs, damage to my hand and arm, several internal injuries, broken back and shattered pelvis.
I first looked at getting involved with Deptherpy in 2012 when one of my best mates Chris Middleton mentioned it to me. Once I had touched base with Richard Cullen I thought the ball was rolling but due to injuries and reoccurring problems I kept pushing it back until one day the time was right and it was time for me to conquer my fear of water.
At the age of 9 I was resuscitated by life guards after drowning in a swimming pool. A few days into my PADI course at Roots Red Sea my fear began to get the better of me. I was ready to throw the towel in I’d had enough couldn’t focus on the skills as I was petrified the kit would fail me and once again be at death’s door.
After a brew, a smoke and a long chat with Richard Cullen and the team I jumped back in and somehow my fear had disappeared I tried the skills again and smashed them first time.
The team and programme has changed my life. I no longer think I can’t do things due to my disabilities, I just jump in and try it. If i can’t do it I sit back and think of the conversation I had with Richard poolside at Roots and try again.
What an absolute honour it is to work so closely with the team of individuals that make up the Deptherapy Family.