The latest developments on the trout scene
THE Countryside Alliance Foundation is to launch Castaway, a new project aimed at supporting young people moving on from cancer. The Foundation runs projects which use the countryside as a place of education and therapy, and this particular project will take around 20 young adults with cancer and offer them a day at Sportfish Game Fishing Centre, in Theale, Reading, to learn fly and coarse fishing, make new friends and enjoy a day at the water’s edge – probably an unimaginable idea when they were in treatment. The project is the idea of Charlotte Weston, an oncology nurse who, having volunteered for the Foundation’s Casting for Recovery project for ladies with breast cancer, was impressed by fishing’s healing powers. When she moved from breast nursing to working with teens and young adults with cancer, she approached the Foundation’s Charles Jardine and Jill Grieve with a view to running a similar therapeutic project, this time aimed at young people with cancer. Castaway will hold its inaugural event at the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre on October 13, supported by leading fishing and country clothing retailer, Farlows. Those interested in attending can register on the Alliance’s website (www.countrysidealliance.org - click on ‘Campaigns’, then ‘Fishing’ and search ‘Castaway’). While the course is aimed at those aged 18 and over, parents are welcome to join participants at Sportfish. “Having witnessed first-hand the way fishing can give people their sparkle back, and maybe even introduce them to a new interest for life, it made sense to me that fishing therapy can work across many different age groups in offering some peace, calm and a way back from illness,” said Charlotte Weston. “It is particularly hard for young people coming to the end of their treatment and not knowing where to turn. We hope that coming to the water and learning a new skill will help them to move forward.” Participants at Theale will be drawn from cancer groups across the South East and the Midlands. There will be no charge for the day, which will also be staffed with medical professionals, while all fishing instruction will be led by qualified instructors giving their time freely.
Charles Jardine during a demonstration at Sportfish, Theale.