Injured soldier gets help with diving dream from South Yorkshire beauty queen
A South Yorkshire beauty queen has helped a seriously injured soldier on his way to becoming a qualified diver.
Craig Wood, 25, from Doncaster, was serving in The Rifles in Afghanistan when he was hurt by an improvised explosive device.
His injuries were extensive, and he had to have both his legs amputated above the knee, as well as his left hand.
Despite suffering such a debilitating setback, Craig is getting on with his life and is training to become an open water diver with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, or Padi.
Craig’s story was picked up by Jamie-Lee Faulkner, a South Yorkshire representative in this year’s Miss Universe GB competition. The 26-year-old from Rotherham is a keen diver and previously won the Miss Scuba UK pageant. It was through this she learned of Deptherapy, a charity which rehabilitates injured soldiers through scuba diving.
Jamie-Lee was inspired by Craig’s attempt to become a diver and decided to help.
She said: “It was brought to my attention a few weeks ago that Craig had been given a place on the Deptherapy programme.
“Being from the same region and a similar age I really wanted to help. I contacted Richard Cullen, who runs Deptherapy, and asked if there was anything that Craig needed. He told me the only thing he did not have was a dive computer.
“I decided I would like to personally help get him a computer. As a diver myself I know what a lifesaving piece of equipment this is.”
Jamie-Lee organised a raffle and managed to raise £140 for the computer. Last month she handed it to Craig in person.
Richard Cullen, from Deptherapy, said: “Craig is an amazing young man who is a keen sailor at Paralympic level.
“Craig is on the Deptherapy programme to qualify as a Padi open water diver. To achieve this with his injuries will require a massive effort on his part, a challenge which he is up to.
“Craig wants to sail around the world, diving at various locations. The board of Deptherapy wish to thank Jaime-Lee for her continued support. A dive computer is an essential piece of kit which will be of great benefit to Craig.”
Jamie-Lee will compete in the final of this year’s Miss Universe GB on July 23. She has worked with many charities and is an ambassador for South Yorkshire-based Safe at Last.
She said: “Through pageants I have been given a platform to raise awareness and funds for many great causes, some of which I may never have otherwise come across.
“Having this platform doesn’t give me a voice but hopefully it makes it a little louder. I realise I am lucky to get the chance to help others through such organisations and I will continue to do so.”