Countryside Alliance Executive Chairman Barney White-Spunner writes: Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland returned to Kimbridge on the Test in Hampshire at the weekend for a fifth year in a row. This wonderful charity, which the Countryside Alliance has sponsored from day one, offers ladies who have (or have had) breast cancer the chance of a fully funded retreat where counselling and medical support go hand-in-hand with fly fishing tuition, knot tying and entomology.
Twelve ladies from across the country arrived at Kimbridge on Friday to begin their weekend. Glorious weather (for the most part) aided the relaxed atmosphere and the ladies were further delighted by an invite from the team at nearby National Trust property, Mottisfont Abbey. General Manager Paul Cook and Conservation Manager Dylan Everett enthused their guests not just with the Abbey’s illustrious history but also with a talk (and walk) explaining how their stretch of the Test is kept, the conservation work they are doing and the special nature of Hampshire’s chalk river systems. This helped the new fly fisherwomen to better understand the whole ethos of fly fishing and its role in conservation.
While many of the ladies left Kimbridge with a trout (although as one guide observed “It’s called fishing, not catching!”) it was clear that yet again the countryside had acted as a form of therapy and tranquility. We are extremely privileged to support Casting for Recovery’s journey. With 26 retreats held and over 300 alumni, the charity has already had an impact, often far beyond the immediate participants. Congratulations to the first 300 ladies who have experienced Casting for Recovery’s particular brand of magic – and here’s to the next 300.
In late Spring ITV Meridian came down to Kimbridge ahead of the retreat to speak to previous participant Gilly Venning, along with Casting for Recovery Instructor Sue Shaw, to find out what makes the charity so special.