First day of fishing fun to bring smiles for children

Bedfordshire branch of The Masonic Fishing Charity - committee officials  Richard Frood (Secretary); David James; Janet Johnson-James; Jon Taylor; Dick Sturman (Chairman); Roy Smith; Alan Humphreys; Scott Louder.
Bedfordshire branch of The Masonic Fishing Charity - committee officials Richard Frood (Secretary); David James; Janet Johnson-James; Jon Taylor; Dick Sturman (Chairman); Roy Smith; Alan Humphreys; Scott Louder.

The first fishing event for children in need is being held at Lower Caldecote next week.

With the aid of a grant of £2,500 from The Province of Bedfordshire, the Bedfordshire Branch of The Masonic Fishing Charity has been established and aims to bring some smiles to thousands of children in the years to come.

Invited participants to the fishing events will include those aged 11 to 18 years with special needs, physical disabilities, the disadvantaged, autistic and those who have suffered trauma or have a terminal illness.

Every fishing event is totally funded by the Bedfordshire Branch of The Masonic Fishing Charity and there is no cost to those participants, their carers or helpers.

The inaugural event is being held on Thursday, September 24 at Manor Farm Fishing Ltd, Lower Caldecote, where a dedicated lake will be provided for the day’s supervised hands-on fishing, which is set to be an overwhelming success for the children, who will be attending from Keech Hospice Care.

A team of dedicated helpers, casters and committee officials will have an early start on the day in preparation of this inaugural event with fishing expected to commence soon after the arrival of the children at 10am. The day will end with every child being presented with a certificate of achievement to as well as a variety of memorabilia and including medals for biggest fish, best caster and best retriever.

Dick Sturman, chairman of the Bedfordshire Branch of The Masonic Fishing Charity, said: “The day will, without doubt, be an overwhelming success - the culmination of many weeks of careful planning and hard work by every member of the committee.

“2016 will see a busy diary of similar events, and we welcome enquiries from special needs schools, and similar providers of care for people who have suffered trauma, who would like to get involved during 2016 and take part in a day’s supervised fishing and leave with happy memories and a big smile.”

He added: “These events are offered completely free of any charge to the participants, their carers or helpers and are funded totally by the generosity of our sponsors and the fundraising events of the Bedfordshire Branch of The Masonic Fishing Charity.”

Richard Frood, secretary of the Bedfordshire Branch of The Masonic Fishing Charity, said: “The Masonic Fishing Charity is a non-profit-making enterprise, which relies completely on volunteers. The Bedfordshire Branch hopes the fishing days will enable people with disabilities not only to enjoy a day’s fishing but also gain in confidence when meeting and interacting with new people or being faced with new challenges. Our volunteers also gain enormously with a sense of achievement, having helped fellow members of the community. They also ‘catch the smile’ on the faces of those very special people.”

More details about the Bedfordshire Branch of The Masonic Fishing Charity can be found at www.mtsfc.co.uk. Select ‘Area & Events’ from the menu bar then click on ‘Bedfordshire’. Or you can telephone Alan Humphreys on 07411 799772 or David James on 07961 464541 for an information leaflet or to request a visit from the school liaison officers of the Bedfordshire Branch of The Masonic Fishing Charity.