Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland, the medical fly-fishing programme for ladies who have, or have had breast cancer, held its final retreat of 2018 at the Mount Falcon Estate in Ballina, Co Mayo, Ireland last weekend (19-21 October).

Retreat coordinator Sue Shaw said: “Thirteen ladies attended the retreat, three from England and 10 from across Ireland, coming from Belfast in the north to Cork in the Republic of Ireland.

“The weather could not have been kinder, with hardly any wind and temperatures of around 14 degrees – perfect for our retreat schedule – and all the ladies caught fish, a few taking them home to enjoy with their families.

“The fly-tying session also was a huge success, as always, and one of the ladies actually caught a fish on the fly she had tied.”

The Mount Falcon Hotel also presented Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland with a cheque for €1,655 which was from a fundraising afternoon tea event held there last December. Sponsorship for the event was received from the following companies – Allure, Archers, Balla Florists, Bella Beauty, Belleek Castle, Blooms ‘n’ Things, Dee Al Shamaa Makeup, Eden Flowers, Elemis, Escape, Foxford Woollen Mills, Gilmartins, Hummingbird Cakes, Jaad, Mount Falcon Spa, Mount Falcon Estate and Rafferty’s.

Sue Shaw added: “We are incredibly grateful to Mount Falcon for their support over the years and for this donation. Casting for Recovery retreats are offered free to the ladies who take part and this generous gift will help us to fund next year’s programme.”

Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland is run by The Countryside Alliance Foundation (TCAF), the charity set up to increase access to the countryside and to use it for education, fun and healing. It works on the simple principle that fly fishing is wonderful therapy for those recovering from breast cancer.

The programme takes ladies on a two-day residential retreat where fly fishing tuition is part of a packed itinerary that also includes counselling, relaxation and medical advice. The residential retreat aims to help both body and mind, with the medical and counselling aspects complementing the gentle physical therapy of the fly-casting motion.

We are extremely grateful to the fly fishing and medical volunteers who take time to ensure that the ladies all enjoy their weekend and to our generous hosts.

The trip to Mount Falcon was our final retreat of the year but retreats start again across UK and Ireland in the spring.

We very much look forward to returning to Mount Falcon in 2019, from 21-23 June.