Masonic Fishing Charity

Catching the Smile

“The Masonic Fishing Charity’s aim is to bring an interactive fishing and countryside experience to people with special needs”.

It achieves this by running fishing events, both coarse and fly, at various fisheries and inviting participants from special needs schools and centres and people who have suffered trauma to come and join in.

This is far more than just a days fishing though! It enables mentally disabled people to gain in confidence, meet new challenges and achieve tangible results to take away; it helps disadvantaged people and those from harsh backgrounds to renew their confidence in meeting people and interacting with adults from outside their spheres; it helps physically disabled people (including war heroes and stroke victims) to participate and experience something that may otherwise be unavailable to them and it enables our volunteers to give back to the community and have some fun along the way.

The charity is completely run by volunteers and is a non profit making enterprise.

The Charity provides:

  • A fisherman or helper for every participant usually on a one-to-one basis. The fishermen will try to involve their charges in all aspects of fishing, to have a go at casting, retrieving, hooking and landing the fish.  (All fishermen and helpers will have been required to complete a DBS disclosure with us.)
  • Lunch is provided for all participants, helpers and fishermen and usually consists of barbecued burgers, sausages and maybe some fresh trout at fly fishing events!  Soft, non-fizzy drinks, sandwiches, fruit and snacks, tea and coffee.  A vegetarian option is available on request.
  • A ‘Certificate of Achievement’ for all participants.
  • Medals for Biggest Fish, Best Caster, Best Retriever etc., are also often awarded.
  • Participating organisations or individuals are provided with Risk Assessments and Health & Safety Instructions
  • Health and safety instruction is given to all helpers and fishermen.
  • Some game fish caught may be kept by the participants.
  • Qualified first aider always on hand.

The aim of the Masonic Fishing Charity is to provide an interactive fishing and countryside experience to anyone above the age of eleven with special needs – this includes the disadvantaged or those who have suffered trauma. Typically, a day’s fishing will consist of the following:

 

0730 am - Branch members arrive (set up venue and Health & Safety briefing);

0930 am – Guests arrive and receive H & S briefing before being introduced to their Caster/Helper for the day who will involve them in as many aspects of fishing as their condition will allow;

1000 am - Fishing starts;

1230 pm - Free BBQ lunch for all;

1315 pm - Fishing restarts;

1500 pm - Weigh in/Presentation [Certificate of achievement to all participants and medals for biggest fish, best caster, etc]/closing address by VIP/guests depart; &,

1530 pm -  Debrief and feedback from all helpers.

 

The Patron is the Most Worshipful Pro Grand Master Peter G Lowndes, whilst the President is the RW Bro Roger Croome, Q.P.M., PProv Grand Master of Middlesex. A board of eight Trustees chaired by W Bro. Mike Purdey oversees the workings of our CEO, W Bro Steve Roberts (assisted by his Deputy) who is responsible for the day to day running of the charity through the Area Co-Ordinators and thence to the Branches.

The charity is organised and staffed by volunteers both male and female, anglers and non-anglers and Masons and non-Masons. The only stipulation is that volunteers must be CRB/DBS cleared [paid and applied for by the charity] as we work with children and vulnerable adults.

There is absolutely no charge to any of our participants, their helpers, or their schools or the centres that sponsor them. The organising authority is only responsible for the costs of their transport to and from an event and any specialist food that their charges may require.

If you would like to be involved in a new West Wales branch of the Charity, please contact Provincial Assistant Grand Secretary W Bro Tony Trumper asec@wwmason.com in the first instance.

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