The final Casting for Recovery (CfR) retreat of 2016 was held at Forbes of Kingennie near Dundee the weekend of 23-25 September, with eleven ladies who have, or have had breast cancer, taking part in the unique medical and fly fishing programme.
Casting for Recovery UK and Ireland is now in its tenth year of operation and is going from strength to strength with its unique therapeutic retreat formula; ladies who have breast cancer (or have had it in the past) enter into a ballot and, if successful, come on an all-expenses paid retreat at one of several stunning locations across the UK and Ireland. On retreat a blend of counselling, medical advice and fly fishing work well to enable the ladies to make friends, learn a new skill, spend time in a beautiful setting and move on from their cancer. The project is administered and funded by The Countryside Alliance Foundation, which exists to promote the countryside as a place of therapy, fun and education.
The recent retreat at Forbes of Kingennie was a success with ladies coming from the Dundee area as well as from the Borders, the west coast and further afield, including Lincolnshire and London, and one lady even flying in from Poitiers in France.
This was the fifth retreat to be held at Forbes of Kingennie, which is owned and run by long term CfR supporters Mike and Gail Forbes. Along with their dedicated team they ensured that their eleven special guests got the most from their experience and enjoyed their “home from home.” Mike commented: “‘Casting for Recovery retreat weekends have become so special for the guides, our staff, Gail and myself that we feel a great sense of reward in giving a little back to such brave and courageous ladies.”
The retreat was staffed by volunteers in branded pink t-shirts including a counsellor, two breast nurses and an experienced casting instructor, Vera Carlson, who is a part of the prestigious Game Angling Instructors Association. Vera was assisted by top instructors Lawrence Meechan, Barry Mitchell and Brian McGlashan. They helped prepare the ladies for the climax of the retreat – a full morning’s guided fly fishing where each lady is paired with a local guide and given a morning on the water, kitted out in clothing and with a rod from CfR’s partner, Orvis UK. Happily every lady caught a fish on the final day, and all commented on the cathartic and supportive nature of the counselling and medical sessions which punctuated the fishing.
The retreat was co-ordinated by CfR’s national Director, Jill Grieve, who commented: “From the moment they arrived our eleven ladies were determined to embrace every aspect of the retreat and to enjoy their new found friendships in the beautiful surroundings of the Kingennie Estate. The whoops and hollers as everyone caught fish on the final day was wonderful to see and a fitting end to an enjoyable and very healing weekend.”
The retreat schedule for 2017 will be announced in October 2016 and places on each will open on a rolling basis. The general rule is that up to 14 ladies are accepted on each retreat. This helps foster an intimate atmosphere and enables participants to form friendships.
Retreats begin on Friday evening and end on Sunday afternoon following a graduation lunch. Meals, accommodation, counselling & medical support and fly casting tuition is all included in the experience at no charge. All ladies need to do is get themselves to and from the venue.
Follow CfR on Twitter @CfRUKandI – you can also find us on Facebook.
Four retreats have been held this year: The Coniston Country Estate and Spa nr Skipton in North Yorkshire, Mount Falcon Estate nr Ballina in County Mayo, Kimbridge on the Test near Romsey in Hampshire and this retreat at Forbes of Kingennie.
Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland is part of the international Casting for Recovery family which originated in the United States of America in 1996.
For more information or photographs please contact Jill on [email protected]