Cotswold BSAC were formed in 1969 to offer diver training and diving to our members, and try-dive experiences to our local community. We currently have 29 members, and are looking to expand in the coming year. Many of our members find scuba diving a great way to make friends, cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life, and improve their health and wellbeing. We offer our members the adventure and excitement that comes with scuba diving around the UK. Members range from age 10 and upwards, with no upper age limit. We don't have any fixed infrastructure or facilities, so we rely on local businesses and organisations to host our training and events.
A young diver enjoying a try dive in October 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has limited our activities in 2020, which has had a knock on to our income through membership growth, diver training, and equipment use. To secure the future of the club, we need to secure funds to continue offering our key activities and grow our membership and wider offer. Our main costs are:
- Pool hire for diver training
- Equipment maintenance and insurance
- Boat maintenance, storage, and insurance
Our volunteer instructors deliver diver training under the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC) scheme. Regular access to a swimming pool is essential for offering "Try Dives" and sheltered water training for the initial stages of the Diver Training Programme. We returned to the pool in October 2020, but need a regular income to make it viable as an offer to members throughout the year.
Our pool, at Dean Close School, Cheltenham
Our members plan diving trips for other members throughout the year, and key to this is having our own boat "Cotswold Diver". This gives us the independence to go where we want, when we want (subject to restrictions of course!), and is substantially more affordable and flexible than chartering a boat. Whilst we have made use of the boat in 2020, the income generated by regular trips has not been possible due to the varying stages of lockdown, yet the fees for insurance, storage, and maintenance continue regardless of use. We need to find a way to meet these costs, whilst maintaining the financial viability of the club for its members.
Cotswold Diver being launched in Cornwall, July 2020
A club trip to Hope Cove in Devon.
Just one of the local inhabitants of our UK waters
As travel restrictions continue, we think that more and more people will want to make the most of what is on our doorstep, and that includes some incredible diving in UK waters!
We recognise that social contact and reducing isolation is a key component of leading a healthy lifestyle. Under normal circumstances, the club offers social activities to its members and non-members (where appropriate). Quizzes, bingo, and skittles are popular activities, as well as a BBQ in the summer. Out of necessity we went online in 2020 for our social activities where we could, with a weekly chat over zoom to keep everyone in touch, and a very popular online Bingo session!