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The depths of rehabilitation

560. Dr Richard Cullen

Dr Richard Cullen, is a retired Metropolitan Police Commander from Buckinghamshire who runs Deptherapy, a charity which provides rehabilitation for injured service men and women with scuba diving.

When Richard read about how beneficial diving could be for people with serious physical injuries he became determined to give UK veterans a chance to experience the sport. He runs Deptherapy, a registered charity which  takes small groups of injured troops out to the Egyptian Red Sea for tailored scuba diving programmes. Those who have taken part have reported feeling relief from their symptoms whilst in the water. Richard now holds the highest professional grade in the PADI system and uses this qualification to teach other scuba instructors both in the UK and abroad through the Deptherapy Education arm of the charity. Richard received his award as he departed for his next trip with a group of nine injured service personnel and their families.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Our service men and women give so much to our country. We as a nation have a duty to these people who sacrifice so much to keep us safe. Richard’s commitment to giving something back to so many of these brave people is truly inspiring.”

Richard said:

“Working with UK Armed Services’ personnel who have suffered life changing mental and, or physical challenges is a privilege. Seeing the difference scuba diving makes to their lives is truly amazing. Some of our programme members are very clear that the charity has not just changed their lives, but saved them.  I am humbled by the Prime Minister’s Points of Light award which I accept not just for myself but on behalf of all our team who give so freely of their time.  For me as an individual and for Deptherapy this is a very proud day.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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