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THE NEXT GENERATION: Sophie O’Dea to raise funds for NHS by building Lego underwater

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Proactive young diver Sophie O’Dea, whose numerous exploits with Blackburn-based Canary Divers over the past few years have featured extensively within the pages of Scuba Diver magazine’s The Next Generation section, is now aiming to raise funds for the NHS – by building a Lego model underwater!

The 11-year-old wants to raise £5,000 to thank the NHS for their hard work during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she has come up with a unique way to achieve her aim – by building a Lego airplane model while sat atop a real airplane which is the centrepiece dive attraction of Capernwray Dive Centre.

Sophie said: “I wanted to find a way to help raise money to put towards equipment or anything else they need.

“Because we are in lockdown, I found it really difficult to think of ways to fund-raise from my home. My hobby is scuba diving, and I love building Lego, so I thought why don’t I put the two together and build the Lego underwater?”

She added: “It’s not going to be easy because Lego wants to float, and I’ll have to keep an eye on my air supply, as well as staying perfectly buoyant myself, so I’m doing lots of practice in the bath and the pool at home. I want to do the actual dive as soon as lockdown is lifted.”

Sophie is a Youth Ambassador with Canary Divers, and her instructor Kris Fearnley said: “All Canary Divers staff are very proud to have Sophie as part of the dive club – we wish her the best with her challenge, and we’ll be there to support her every step of the way.”

Sophie’s mum Emma O’Dea said: “We are incredibly proud of Sophie, she knows it won’t be an easy task to complete, but I know her determination and I know she will give it 100 percent. She’s the type of girl that just gets on with it, she takes everything in her stride both at school and her scuba diving, but she always gets the results she has aimed for.”

You can donate to this worthy cause via Sophie’s JustGiving page here.

Sophie also recently recorded a short message on her YouTube Channel to try and inspire young people to stay upbeat and positive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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