Supporting the younger generation
Funding level: £5,001 to £10,000
Submitted by: JSJ Commercial Insurance
Why vote for us? Get Hooked on Fishing’s (GHoF) proposed new Stoke-on-Trent project ‘Angling for Brighter Futures’ will raise the aspirations and develop the confidence and self-esteem of 144 local young people aged 11-16 who are not achieving at school and/or face exclusion from mainstream education. Many of these children will have special educational needs, are being bullied, come from homes experiencing severe poverty or are acting as carers to younger children and possibly their parents. Without support some will become involved in anti-social behaviour and crime. With us things change. As one of our GHoF attenders will tell you “I like being in the fresh air, I’m with my mates and I stay out of trouble.” Our participants often become instantly hooked on fishing going on to join a sport which is the 6th biggest in the country, involves millions of people and employs over 37,000 individuals.
Why this level of funding? £10,000 will change the lives of 144 children this year. That’s just under £70 per child to take part in an angling programme tailored to meet their needs with outcomes lasting a lifetime. Richard is a great example. He first came to us aged 11 with significant issues including OCD that we helped him address. Now a qualified angling coach and keen GHoF volunteer he inspires others to achieve (and us to continue doing what we do).
What we will actually do with the funding: Working with targeted schools, organisations and pupil referral units our qualified, licensed angling coaches will deliver two rounds of a 6 week after-school programme. Each week there will be 3 different sessions drawing children from different at-risk groups across the city. Accompanying this will be a summer and autumn holiday 4 day programme for children and young people referred to us by family support workers, local police, healthcare providers and other local agencies. We are particularly keen to help children whose families may go into crisis without additional support during school holidays. We will use angling as a diversionary activity, as a means of developing skills and to help children access the personal, social and health benefits of fishing.
What we will achieve: ‘Angling for Brighter Futures’ will provide young people with a learning opportunity outside of the classroom increasing their self-esteem and self-confidence, increasing their aspirations and re-engaging them in education. We are very different to school and we can help young people who find academic learning difficult engage in education and go on to achieve their goals - as one past participant says “I find it easier to concentrate outdoors – I don’t like being inside.” Another says “Fishing 10/10. School 1/10!” Teachers recognise our impact. One of our supporters, a Special Educational Needs Coordinator in a secondary school says: “It is gratifying to see pupils working with others particularly when a fish is caught – there is a lot of team work taking place and usually without argument, which is not always the case in the classroom! The activity builds confidence because pupils can achieve success – something which not all pupils experience in the classroom.”
We will also provide the opportunity for young people to move into peer mentoring and volunteer roles enabling them to ‘give something back’ to their community but also helping their future career prospects as having experience to draw on. Like Richard, they pass on their experience and provide positive role models in their communities.
Finally, we should probably mention that fishing is fun! We give vulnerable and disadvantaged children a chance to be kids, try something new and experience success. As one of our young participants told us “I love fishing – when I catch a fish I feel proud and happy”. Please take a look at our photos and film to see what he means and see the sheer joy of catching your first fish!
Get Hooked on Fishing