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Paralysed Dave leads scuba dive challenge

THE man who set up one of the UK’s biggest annual disability awareness events is planning to do a mile scuba dive on Sunday in the hope of raising enough money to save the show.

The withdrawal of funding, due to the imminent closure of the North West Development Agency, is threatening what would be the 20th Disability Awareness Day at Warrington’s Walton Hall Gardens.

”Even after a complete restructure we are still £10,000 short,” says Dave Thompson, chairman of Warrington Disability Partnership and who was awarded an MBE for his voluntary work.

Dave is leading the “Go the Extra Mile” scuba diving challenge – 66 lengths of the pool at Fordton Leisure Centre, Warrington, on Sunday February 20.

It’s a real challenge for most people but more so for Dave who has been a full time wheelchair user since a breaking his neck in an American football game in 1989.

The accident left him with only limited use in his left arm, and none in his right arm and legs.

Helping him will be his brother in law, Graham Horton.

Last May, Dave successfully completed his Open Water qualification and in October achieved the P.A.D.I Advanced Open Water. He is now one of a small number of disabled divers across the world.

The scuba challenge is open to everyone – even for those who have little, or no experience of scuba diving.

“You can join in and have a go under the supervision of expert instructors,” says Dave.

A minimum sponsorship of £50 is required.

All equipment will be provided free (tanks, regulators, fins, mask, etc.) courtesy of Terry Wood and Cybaqua Dive Store, Warrington.

Dave Thompson at last year's Disability Awareness Day
Dave Thompson at last year's Disability Awareness Day

Interested? Contact the Warrington Disability Partnership team on 01925 240064 for registration and sponsor forms.

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