Soldiering On Awards 2018

a deptherapy blog

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23 Apr2018

Healthcare and Rehabilitation Award

by Richard Cullen | 23rd Apr 2018

The Board of Trustees are delighted to announce that Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education won the Healthcare and Rehabilitation category at the prestigious Soldiering on Awards, , at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel on Friday 20th April.

If Deptherapy has seen further it has due to the amazing group of veterans we work with. They provide the inspiration for our work. They are truly giants. The Soldiering on Awards dinner is a sparkling event, with a tremendous atmosphere but yet retaining a very personal touch. There are so many top brass, serving and retired, from our Armed Forces’ Members of the Government, House of Lords and House of Commons.

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The event was launched with a champagne reception and dinner was announced as the London Military Band marched into the function room.

Earl Howe formally opened the event and soon our comperes for the evening Jeremy Vine and Vicki Michelle were on the stage. These two are a great combination. Jeremy has the most listened programme on BBC radio. Many will know him from as the host of BBC 2’s Eggheads and for his commentary on General Elections etc.

Vicki Michelle is known by many for her strap line “Listen very carefully I will only say this once.”

The charity was represented by Richard Cullen (Chairman), and Sarah Waddington (Board Secretary and Treasurer), Patron Lt Colonel Simon Davey, Simon Reed (Programme member liaison) Perry Booth; programme members Pate Hayward, and Michael Hawley who was accompanied by his wife Charlotte.

Ours was the second category to be announced and the atmosphere was so tense you could cut it with a knife. But we did it, a massive achievement by a tiny charity that punches above its weight.

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Richard even managed to say during his response to the award that he hoped it would be the key to unlock the door to corporate sponsorship. Which had Jeremy and Vicki in tears of laughter.

Coming on top of Ben Lee’s success in winning the ‘Recognising Achievement’ Award at the Royal Foundation’s Endeavour Fund Awards in February we have at last been acknowledged publicly and loudly for what we do.

It was great that Vicki Michelle when presenting the award on stage said she had watched the BBC video of our work and though it was amazing.

There were lots of interviews to do, lots of other award, lots of speeches and the marvellous singing of Carly Paoli.

Dinner was amazing and we, unsurprisingly, partied until the early hours.

The charity wishes to thank those who nominated us for the award, the marvellous team at Soldiering On, the judges for selecting us and the audience for giving us such a warm reception. A special thank you goes to Redwood Technologies Group for kindly sponsoring the award.

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To our supporters and sponsors to name a few; Roots Red Sea, Diver Group, Divecrew, Apeksdiving, PADI, Suunto, Debra Lilley. To every one of those who raise money for us by fundraising activities. You make what we do possible.

BUT the biggest thank you goes to the Trustees, Associate Directors, our President, Vice Presidents, Patrons, Ambassadors and volunteers who give their services for free and unstintingly to help those we work with.

We should all feel so very proud of winning this award, it is a symbol of recognition for our work at the highest level.

BUT work doesn’t stop there a six new programme members on the May Roots Expedition each of whom has major mental health injuries and they join eleven of the colleagues who are at various stages of their Deptherapy/PADI Continuing Education Programme.

The Truk Expedition takes up most of August and we are already planning for our October Roots Expedition.

We will strive hard to maintain our performance and to continuing changing the lives of those who have given so much for their Queen and Country.

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