The Countryside Alliance Foundation’s Fishing 4 Schools (F4S) project and Hadlow College in Kent have received a £5,000 grant from the Angling Trust to improve facilities for disabled fishers and train young instructors at the college’s Grove Farm Fishery.
F4S runs short courses that offer a different way of learning for pupils, many with special educational needs, who often find academic work difficult but respond well to alternative learning. They integrate aspects of angling – for example weights and measures and fish biology – into the National Curriculum and also encourage them to try a new outdoor activity.
Students from the schools that visit Hadlow will benefit from the construction of three new wheelchair-accessible “swims” or fishing platforms at Grove Farm and improved pathways round the site.
The grant will also fund the training of six students to become volunteer instructors for open days and taster sessions for young people run at the fishery.
Renowned fly-fisherman and director of F4S Charles Jardine said: “We are thrilled to receive this funding from the governing body for fishing in the UK. This will help us in our work with Hadlow and improve the facilities for everyone who uses the fishing lakes.
“Being able to train these young people to receive their Level 1 and 2 coaching qualifications is very important, so we will have an unbroken stream of young instructors who can coach their peers and continue our work in Kent.”
And Brian Bailey of Hadlow College added: ““The funding will enable us to improve our facilities and equipment and will allow us to increase participation into angling and outdoor activities, whilst increasing awareness of employment and opportunities in the land-based sector.”
Mark Lloyd, chief executive of the Angling Trust said: “Many congratulations to Fishing 4 Schools for securing these funds in a field with many other very worthy applications. By training their students to qualify as angling coaches they will be helping to build a long term sustainable future for angling in partnership with the Angling Trust’s National Angling Strategy, supported by rod licence funds from the Environment Agency.”