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128 %
raised of £400 target
by 29 supporters
James Burns avatar
James Burns

Charlotte's challenge to become a 'Handicapped Scuba Association' Dive Buddy

Becoming a fully qualified HSA Dive Buddy for Dive Ability because I want to help handicapped children scuba dive

128 %
raised of £400 target
by 29 supporters

Dive Ability

Dive Ability is a member led scuba diving charity committed to enabling people who have disabilities or disadvantages to discover the adventurous world of scuba diving.

Charity Registration No. 1143653




Today 17th April 2016 I completed my Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) Buddy course, but not only that I went on to sucessfully pass my HSA Instructor course :-) I can't use my HSA instructor certification until I am 18yrs old and become a PADI Instructor, I have to say that the course was the most physical dive course I have ever completed, much more difficult than my Rescue course, being tied up and put under the water, and to have your mask blacked out to simulate handicaps is more than terrifying and really shows you how much trust a handicapped person that I will now be diving with has to trust you. I am very proud to have achieved my HSA Buddy qualification and honoured that it was felt I had the skills to complete and pass my HSA instructor training which I did. A big thank you to HSA Course Directors Jim and Duncan who led the course and thank you to the other course students, all PADI instructors who had trust in me to work with them during the training, this has definitely made me want to become a PADI dive instructor when I am 18yrs old :-) I will post pictures soon.

Due to the illness of an instructor the course which is only held once a year was delayed, the course is now taking place between the 15th - 17th April 2016, I am really looking forward to it, please continue to help me support the charity.  THANKS

Dear all Divers and anyone else who would like to help me get handicapped kids scuba diving!

Hi, I'm Charlotte Burns, I'm 14yrs of age and a qualified PADI Jnr Master Scuba Diver, and a BSAC Sports Diver.  I am raising money to give handicapped kids and adults the chance to experience scuba diving, please help me!

At the London Dive show last year I met with great people from Dive Ability, a registered charity who train and help handicapped people to learn to dive, I was inspired by what I saw and how they also run courses for those who would like to give some time to act as dive buddies for handicapped people, they were looking for people who would like to complete an HSA dive buddy course.

The Handicapped Scuba Association (HSA) Dive Buddy course consists of 4 days of pool and open water diving, it includes a lot of medical aspects and also understanding the disabilities your buddy has, so during the course you are restricted in movement so you experience the same problems they have.  The course is intense but the feeling of being able to help others experience scuba diving who maybe never would, has got to be worth it.

I had given a 30 minute presentation at the London Dive Show in the Scuba Youth Zone about my journey from Zero to PADI Jr Master Scuba Diver and BSAC Sports Diver, one member of the audience was a trustee of Dive Ability, I think she was impressed :-) and I was asked if I would like to do the HSA course with them in April 2015.  I am paying for this from my own money, so any money raised from this page will be going towards helping handicapped people and hopefully some children get into the water to experience what we all just do and maybe just take for granted, every little donation helps no matter how small.

My challenge is to complete the course and be able to help handicapped kids to experience scuba diving, I know it will be tough, I have been told I will be the youngest ever to have completed the course but hopefully the younger handicapped divers will trust me and I will be able to understand them.  I just hope that I can raise enough money so that we can get that big grin we all had after our first dive onto some handicapped kids faces, that otherwise they could never have had. 

Over the last year I have been getting to know the handicapped divers, it is really amazing what they can do with the help given.  If you want to join me on the course and see I'm real :-) there are a couple of places left, so please go to the Dive Ability website for contact details and more information:



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